By Todd Whelan and Lachlan Ellis
A local footy sharpshooter has made history this month, becoming the first female player to kick 100 goals in a single season in the BFLW.
Darley’s Kim Bessell made it past the 100-goal mark for 2023 in the final round of the home and away season, facing Carisbrook in front of a home crowd at the Darley Hub.
Before the game Bessell was on 95 goals, and had reason to be optimistic, given the Darley faithful are used to seeing her kick a bag – having kicked eight or more goals in eight games this year before Round 16.
In the end she made it look easy, kicking 10 goals for the game – and following tradition, when she slotted her 100th goal for the season, fans ran out onto the ground and excitedly gathered around her.
Ms Bessell said she was nervous before the game about whether she’d make the milestone, but was happy to see her fifth goal for the day sail through.
“I felt plenty of relief to be honest, I was more nervous than usual before the game. I’m over the moon and proud of the achievement.” she told the Moorabool News.
With the focus now on the Devils’ finals campaign, Ms Bessell added that the squad have improved this year on “playing together as a team, bouncing off one another’s strengths, and getting some awesome recruits”.
“We’ve proved our best is good enough, so we’ve got confidence in that.” she said.
BFLW Football Manager Tom McGregor congratulated Ms Bessell on her remarkable achievement, and said she serves as an inspiration for young women wanting to play football.
“It’s an outstanding achievement and one that shows reward for effort in all the hard work Kim has put in. Not just this season, but over the last two or three,” Mr McGregor said.
“Hopefully this can also help inspire younger girls to come into the sport and realise that women’s football can give just as much enjoyment and excitement.”
Mr McGregor said it was the first time in a decade that any player in the League had made it to three figures in a season.
“Even in the men’s competition, the last time a player kicked 100 goals dates back to 2013, when Dan Jordan at East Point did it – so that shows how rare an achievement it is. And it puts Kim in the record books as the first player to do this in the BFLW, or even around the local leagues.” he said.
The huge tally has also seen Ms Bessell claim a ‘threepeat’ of BFLW leading goalkicker awards, 39 goals clear of second place Katelene Cook from Lake Wendouree, who kicked 66 goals this season.