The AFL’s intent to introduce a women’s football league by 2020 has the whole nation talking…
Rebecca Privitelli, a young promising forward, has always had her sights set on playing AFL at an elite level. With the success of the second annual women’s exhibition game, Rebecca’s dream is slowly becoming a reality.
“As a woman in football, I have only ever been able to dream that chance was possible and with the steps taken towards that, such as the exhibition match, those goals are becoming more and more realistic,” Ms Privitelli told The Newsroom.
“Having that league will be the ultimate goal and that’s something I’d work as hard as I need to for the chance to be a part of that.”
Footy is becoming the sport of choice, being one of the fastest growing sports in the country among females. With a recent burst in the number of girl teams for those aged 14-18 and at senior level too, the sport has never been so widespread.
The Victorian Women’s Football League has grown to 32 clubs with 56 teams competing across five divisions, seeing an increase of more than 220 per cent since 2005.
The 19-year-old believes that in order for this to keep getting bigger and better, we should start at a local level and motivate and encourage young girls to take part.
“It’s important to continue bringing up the huge amount of talent that is out there and continue to develop these clubs locally to reach an elite approach to there football as some clubs are starting to do now,” Ms Privitelli said.
“The game gives the younger generation something to aspire towards. After all, they are the future of the game and we are creating something that will be even bigger and better for them.”
However not everyone may support this dream.
“Changing everyone’s mind is impossible, and it’s very disappointing to see that some people still hold those traditional views on women in football,” she said.
“But I think the more we open the eyes of people who aren’t aware of the quality of women’s footy, the overall view of women in football will benefit greatly through games like the exhibition match.”
Despite all the debates about whether a female will ever be as good of a player, Ms Privitelli has some advice for all those aspiring young girls wanting to break the mould.
“Be a part of making a change, take the chances you are given because the more it grows the more opportunities you will get to reach what we as women in football only thought we could dream of.” – Iman Kamareldin
Top photo courtesy of Rebecca Privitelli.