“There’s a revolution going on.” AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan hit the nail on the head at the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation’s 'Women in Football' breakfast on Friday.
On a morning where women’s football pioneers past and present were acknowledged, the head of the AFL updated the 400-strong audience on the status of the proposed national women’s competition. “There’s a paper going to the commission in a couple of weeks… with a series of recommendations.” McLachlan explained.
Following the commission meeting, the bidding process for a women’s team licence will be open to all 18 AFL clubs. Throughout the bidding process in April and potentially May, the jockeying for position is sure to intensify, with less than half the current league clubs being able to secure a licence. “Our expectation is that there will be eight teams next year; four in Victoria and one each in WA, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.” McLachlan said.
From a player’s perspective, confirmation of the eight teams is when the new women’s league will really take shape. As Daisy Pearce explained; “The clubs that do have licences will move into their next stage of planning once they know if they do or don’t have a licence… then, rather than having one body working on it, we’ll suddenly have eight bodies working on it.”
Once we have the eight teams, we will gain a clearer view of the scale of this women’s football revolution. In the meantime though, remember to head out to Highgate Recreational Reserve on Sunday to see the best talent in Victoria represent the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne.
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne
5:10PM, Sunday 6 March
Highgate Recreational Reserve, Craigieburn
Live stream: http://aflcommunity.com.au/index.php?id=495
Audio stream: http://www.afl.com.au/womens