Abbey Bertram set for game 100

Abbey Bertram
Abbey Bertram is set to become the first female player to notch up 100 games for Bacchus Marsh. (Supplied)

By Tara Murray

Abbey Bertram is set to make history this weekend when she steps on to the football field for Bacchus Marsh.

Bertram, who was part of the club’s first girls’ youth league side before joining the women’s team, will become the first female to play 100 games at the club.

For the 23-year-old, the milestone is exciting – if a little unexpected.

“It’s just come up,” she said. “I didn’t think about how many games I had played as we play short seasons. One hundred games seems a bit far fetched.”

For her 100th game this weekend, she will join the Cobras as they face Gisborne in an AFL Goldfields women’s elimination final.

Bertram doesn’t come from the typical background of having always wanted to play the sport.

In fact, she used to get bored by half-time when watching a game.

She said it was the small things – like getting the ball to spin correctly and hitting a teammate with a pass – that made her appreciate the sport, which she took up in 2012.

“I did athletics as a kid and was looking for another sport,” she said.

“Some of the girls were going to start playing footy and I thought, ‘That sounds like a fun thing to do’.

“I really enjoy it and I can now watch a game an understand.”

Bertram said it was satisfying to have been part of the Cobras’ first youth league and women’s teams.

As well as playing 100 games for the Cobras, Bertram has taken the next step – playing VFLW as part of Geelong’s first squad.

While she’s focusing on playing with the Cobras for now, with university commitments, it’s something she might look at again.

“The VFLW is very different to Bacchus Marsh,” she said. “A lot harder and you have to dedicate yourself more.

“It’s one of the best experiences of my football career. I would like to go back there.”

Earlier this year, Bertram captained an AFL Goldfields representative side that played against the VAFA.

She said that was an honour and a complete shock, having missed some of the training due to university.

Bertram, who captains the Cobras, was expected to play game 100 last Sunday.

But Carisbrook forfeited, meaning the milestone had to be postponed a week.

The four points from the forfeit, however, were enough to seal a finals spot for the Cobras, who finished the regular season in fifth.

Bertram said the season had taken the playing group by surprise.

“We’ve done a lot better than people expected,” she said. “We lost a lot of players and we’ve got a lot of players who have never played football before.

“We’re doing 10 times better than we thought we would. As a captain it is a great reward.”