AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick today announced the eight teams that will compete in the 2017 National Women’s Competition at the MCG.
The Adelaide Crows, Brisbane Lions, Carlton FC, Collingwood Magpies, Fremantle Dockers, GWS Giants, Melbourne FC and the Western Bulldogs were all successful in their bids for a slot in the inaugural competition.
“This day has been a long time coming,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
“The AFL Commission would like to thank Gillon (McLachlan, CEO) and his team at the AFL, along with the AFL clubs, for turning a bold plan into what will soon be reality. Our game is on the cusp of changing forever and changing for the better.”
Mr Fitzpatrick said a national women’s league would provide an inspirational platform for young girls and another avenue for fans to enjoy footy.
“A fully fledged national competition where the best women in the country will grace AFL grounds, wearing AFL club jumpers, representing immensely proud and passionate tribes.”
The number of women and girls playing club football has doubled over the past five years, meaning 25 per cent of Australians playing AFL are women.
Thirteen clubs applied for the women’s league, with the five unsuccessful clubs being granted provisional licences for a potential expanded league in 2018. They are the Geelong Cats, St Kilda, Richmond Tigers, West Coast and North Melbourne.
The league will start in February next year. – Jesse Mullens
Screengrab of chairman Mike Fitzpatrick making the announcement from the AFL Twitter feed.