Island Demons make home debut in women's football circuit

There's a lot of excitement on the Terry Fox field in Cornwall, P.E.I., as the Island Demons throw, punt and tackle. 

The women's football team is brand new this year, offering a chance for Island women to play full-contact football. 

"You feel like a beast," said team general manager Lacey Vos. "It's a whole different other type of power."

With P.E.I. represented for the first time in the Maritime Women's Football League, Island women are taking to the field, and taking on new challenges as they get to know the sport.

Filling a gap

Three weeks into the season, the Island Demons hosted their first home game on Saturday against the Fredericton Nissan Lady Gladiators.

Playing on home turf was a special occasion for P.E.I. player Meagan Ferguson, who got her start in football with the Fredericton team. 

She co-founded the Island Demons after returning to P.E.I. last year. 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

"It was something that I really thought was missing here," Ferguson said. "Women in sport is something that I'm really passionate about. And you know we do have rugby, we do have some contact sports, but football is just something completely different."

Ferguson says she's drawn to football because of the camaraderie — and the adrenaline rush. 

"I'm not very tall, I'm only 5-foot-3, so it's nice to be in a contact sport and actually feel like you're making a difference." 

'Whole new learning curve'

While a few of the players, like Ferguson, have played football before, most are new to the sport. Since January, a group of about 30 women, ranging in age from 18-50, have been practising together. 

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

"It was a whole new learning curve," said Vos. "We didn't know what anything meant. From where our lines were, to the plays, to learning hand signals. Now, we can tell you what things are."

While Vos and Ferguson say the players have learned quickly, they say the main goal for this season is to have fun.

"Obviously, this is our first year, so it's fundamentals first," Ferguson said.

Sarah MacMillan/CBC

The Maritime Women's Football League has been around since 2004 and includes one team from Nova Scotia and three from New Brunswick.

With the addition of the Island Demons, Vos says the league can now live up to its name. 

"It just makes us a whole. It makes us Maritime-wide. Now we are officially the Maritime Women's Football League."

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