The official start to the inaugural AFLW Competition is only 2 weeks away – that’s only 14 sleeps! Forgive me if I sound like a kid counting down until Christmas but that’s what it feels like.
After the all the build-up since AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announced in August 2015 that a competition would be formed for women in 2017, 3 years earlier than the AFL had originally planned, we have kept us on the edge our seats from the announcement of the 8 teams, the marquee player signings, the draft, the broadcast deals, the fixture release and now – it’s actually going to happen… in 14 sleeps!
(l-r: Darcy Vescio, Brianna Davey, Melissa Hickey, Daisy Pearce, Katie Brennan, Ellie Blackburn, Moana Hope and Emma King. PHOTO: AFL Photos)
It’s been an interesting dialogue leading up to this moment as there are still so many unknowns surrounding what a national female football competition will mean for the AFL and women’s sport. As was discussed in this week’s This AFL Life podcast by AFLW players Aasta O’Connor (Western Bulldogs), Darcy Vescio (Carlton) and Jessica Dal Pos (GWS), not even the players know what is going to happen and do not have a clear sense of the impact the competition will have. However that is not deterring or distracting them from their training and anticipation to get out there and play.
"I think everything has been so unknown for a while know so I think we’re getting used to it – just walking in the dark and just seeing how it goes. I think everyone is just embracing it at the moment, it’s just so exciting to be in this space and not knowing what is going on isn’t too bad. I feel like that’s my life anyway, I never organise anything or plan ahead so it’s like a normal day for me!" Vescio candidly remarked on the podcast.
Though if you can’t wait all those 14 sleeps in the unknown abyss, there is the chance to check out the competition early as practice games have already kicked off.
Fremantle beat Adelaide by 22 points in their scratch match last Saturday in Darwin, but this Saturday you can head down to Princes Park where the Blues will take on Melbourne at 10.30am.
No plans for the Australia Day public holiday? No problem! Check out Collingwood vs. the Bulldogs at the Holden Centre Thursday night and have a sneak peek at how Moana Hope will take on her old exhibition team.
For me, the unknowns are ok and to be expected and fans should take stock of Vescio’s, and other players, cool, calm and collected attitude to the inaugural competition, because despite everything we don’t know, there is one thing we do know – that being part of this journey is going to be a special enough ride that right now, not much else matters, just get on board!