Emmaus St. Leo’s is proud to announce the 2019 Women’s Leadership group for the upcoming season, with Sally Hood chosen to be the first standalone captain for the Women’s side. It marks a change to the set up from their historic first season, meaning one less person overall in the group from 2018.


Hood was a near unanimous decision from the playing group to be selected for the role, coming off the back of a stellar 2018 where she finished runner up in the team B&F behind runaway winner Shannon Danckert, with her preseason has impressing the coaching staff as well.

“Sally has shown great leadership qualities both on and off the field. Her enthusiasm during training sessions and game day make her the perfect choice for Captain” said Coach Roy Fenton, with his words backed up by new Assistant Brendan Ellwood.

“Sally is respected by the whole playing group and is a natural leader who bring so much character and fun to football” exclaimed Ellwood.

Hood herself cannot wait for Round 1.

“ I am so excited to be selected as the captain of this amazing group of girls, especially have two of the best alongside me as vice captains.”

Those two she alludes to are Sammy Bridgland and Shanelle Blachford, who have been elected to deputise Hood during the 2019 season.

For Bridgland, it was mere fate for her to be elevated to the role.

“The club is especially special to me as my granddad “Billy Boy” was the one who started this club back in 1971. I grew up hearing stories of the Animals Family and I’m stoked to be a part of it today.”


However for the coaching staff, Bridgland was a surprise choice, stating her maturity and stability as her biggest assets.

“Sammy snuck onto to the radar by being a very steady presence. Mature head who has started being more vocal in her leadership.” said Ellwood.

Blachford’s personality shone through for her ascendancy into the role, with the bright and loud persona matched on the field by a toughness rarely matched.

“Nelly has shown and put in a great pre-season with enthusiasm and great encouragement towards all players” Fenton said, while Ellwood praised her contesting.

“(Shanelle) sets the benchmark for this group in the “non-glamourous” parts of footy - talk, effort, determination. She does all the little things we ask for and her intensity lifts the team”.

For the one affectionately known as Nelly, the position is more than just football.

“Being selected for the leadership group more than anything means I am welcomed as a valued member of this big family of Animals! Being a part of the Animals Family has played a huge part in my life in Melbourne, as I don’t have any family of my own here.


With all three girls returning for a second year with the Blue and the Blue, Hood was quick to point out that despite the changing nature of the side, a big year was on the card.

“I think with the old girls who have stuck around, the new girls who have come aboard, and with two great coaches, this year is already going to be more successful than the last.”

The women open their second season at home against a familiar foe in Preston. The Bullants finished top of Division 3 last season, only to have wayward kicking in the Grand Final cost them a flag at the hands of Westbourne Grammarians.

First bounce is at 9.20, with a big crowd expected to be in attendance.