The Arnell Cup was fought out on Saturday 9 July between the two northern suburbs teams in the Vic Metro Masters Football League. To celebrate the occasion, Brenda “Junior” Arnell returned to Werribee Football Club; back to where she had played in Vic Metro’s first ever Women’s Masters match. She presented the Arnell Cup to Darebin Falcons for their win against the Northside Lions.
The Arnells both played for the Lions the last time the two sides met back, again at Werribee in 2019. The Arnell Cup celebrates Brenda and Lauren Arnell, and their contributions to women’s footy, including advocacy, inspiration and support for women to play footy.
Debuting for Coburg Superules (now Northside Lions) in the inaugural 2018 season, Brenda Arnell was a marque signing and an absolute delight in the Melbourne media and footy community. At Whitten Oval’s Pride Match in Feb 2018, Junior was talent spotted in the crowd by the Women’s Competition Co-ordinator Jill Chalmers. A drawcard for Coburg’s first women’s team, Junior’s spirited step up inspired many women to take up this new opportunity to play footy for fun.
“I went to a few different Come and Try days, and then found a real home with the Lions. I was walking the dogs and keeping fit, and then found I was able to keep up in the training. So I played in the matches. It was fantastic. Having the team to support and motivate you, and it was just so much enjoyment in that first season of footy” (Brenda Arnell)
Lauren “Loz” Arnell is a life member of Darebin Falcons, recognised for her outstanding contribution and dedication to the club. As a player, commentator, coach and leader, Lauren is creative, enthusiastic and exciting. From captaining Carlton in the first ever AFLW match in 2017 to the 2021 AFLW premiership win with Brisbane, Lauren is now coaching the inaugural Port Adelaide AFLW team. She continues to inspire, advocate and support so many to pursue their passion for footy.
Sarah Hammond was awarded the ‘Loz Medal’ for her best on ground performance in just her first game of the 2022 season, with some great running, getting into the right spot for her team time and time again. Sarah Hammond is a life member of the Falcons, and has been part of historic wins for the club, including 15 Grand Final appearances, 11 Flags and the Lisa Hardeman Medal for Best on Ground in the 2009 VFLW Grand Final. She has coached U18’s and VFLW, and returned to the field as an inaugural player in the Darebin Over 35’s team in 2019.
Charlotte Beresford was awarded the ‘Junior Medal’ for the Northside Lions’ best on ground. Charlotte was solid on the backline all day, disruptive, and taking intercept marks. Also in her first game back for 2022, the tall defender debuted for the Lions in 2021.
The Arnell Cup is a celebration of some great football in our competition, and the women who are sticking their heads above the parapet.
“Junior is a great club person- she made everyone feel welcome and was dedicated to the team, travelling from regional Victoria for games and training. She always provide positive support to team mates. She also brought to the Lions a message of “take your opportunities”- don’t be embarrassed that you’re going to be a beginner, or concerned that you are too old to learn! Junior doesn’t thing there is anything special in what she’s done, but to me, she is an inspiration. A reminder that when time and opportunity presents itself- no matter your age- put yourself out there and have a go!” (Kate Francis, Lions team mate)