Power House was the perfect club for Eddie Nyary. For a young kid from the country, it had the right balance of football and social aspects that ticked every one of his boxes.
He started playing footy at the age of 10, for Mount Clear Football Club, before moving to East Ballarat Football Club and then to Rokewood, just south of Ballarat.
Eddie landed at Ross Gregory Oval at the start of the 2015 season after making the move to Melbourne to attend university.
It’s been a steady improvement for the House in recent years, culminating in a Division 3 Grand Final appearance last year.
Despite narrowly missing out on premiership success against UHS-VU, Eddie and his Power House teammates earnt promotion to Division 2 for the first time in nine years.
During this time, Eddie’s girlfriend Sally ‘Sal’ Werner watched proudly from the other side of the fence.
Witnessing the wins, losses and the challenges Eddie faced – physically pushing his body to the limit, his mental fortitude, the importance of comradery and the singing of the club song, Werner wanted in.
So, when Power House decided to field their first women’s team in the club’s 71-year history in the 2018 season, Sally was first on board.
And, this year, Werner joined the Power House committee – the first woman on board since 2002 and only the third in the club’s history.
“It’s pretty exciting. I didn’t realise there hadn’t been a woman involved for a while, so I’m even more proud to be representing the women’s team,” Sal said.
Sal explained that when she was nominated for the committee, she didn’t hesitate about joining.
“I didn’t think twice when Bucks (secretary Daniel Buckley) offered to nominate me.”
The Power House club motto is ‘Service without Recognition’ which seems to sit well with the 21-year-old, who has been eager to get involved since she moved to the big city.
“I have loved to volunteer since I was 12. I thought this would be a good opportunity to volunteer in Melbourne as I haven’t done as much as I really wanted to.”
But it’s not just off the field where Werner has flourished.
She has played a major part on the field, learning and developing her own game to ensure she plays a significant on-field role for the new Power House women’s team.
“As AFLW has happened, I’ve watched our friend Bianca play and I thought ‘why they hell not?”
And while her boyfriend Eddie has taken a step back from his playing aspect, he’s been fully supporting Werner’s on and off-field pursuits.
“He’s been determined to help my technique, kicking and handballing. He’ll be there on match days too, doing whatever he can.”
She then went on to explain how she already feels at home at the club and loves being surrounded by her new mates.
“I love how everyone is so kind, supporting each other and doing whatever is needed to help someone. It’s a very inclusive club.”
“Then there are other little things that are great, including the number of Irish accents around the club.”
Inaugural Power House Women’s Coach Phil Mackney explained that Werner was already a big part of the club, however, now that she is a key member of the women’s team, her opinions will change the club greatly.
“Being in a leadership role means that the club now benefits from her enthusiasm driving the club forward,” he said.
Mackney also praised Sal’s willingness to learn on the field.
“Sally is a fast learner, vocal, determined and above all a great team mate who encourages everyone.”
Boyfriend Eddie commented on Sal’s overall capability, explaining why her fashion industry jobs have helped her grow as a trailblazer.
“She’s shown a lot of initiative at her last job at Fila. In only nine months, she was teaching and leading planning sessions. That’s the type of attitude she’ll bring to Power House.”
Furthermore, Werner has played a key role in working with the club to design the training gear and the ladies jumper.
Sal chooses her words carefully when asked who is the better footballer between her and her boyfriend.
“Probably Eddie. I don’t know if I have that edge yet, but maybe as we get into games that edge will come out a bit more.”
But Eddie believes that Sal’s the one with the competitive gene.
“She grew up around board-games, which led to her competitiveness I think. She also grew up with two older brothers.”
But it’s that competitiveness that is helping her build a new era at Power House.
And now, her dream is becoming a reality.
She’s looking forward to standing arm in arm with her teammates after a hard-fought win, belting out the famous Power House war cry club song in the green, white and black, knowing that all her hard work has finally paid off.