We know we’re probably preaching to the converted here, but if you’re in Melbourne tonight and you’re in two minds about attending the AFL Women’s State of Origin match… let us convince you.
In no particular order of preference, here are 10 reasons to head to Etihad Stadium tonight:
1. FREE ADMISSION
While we would HAPPILY spend our hard-earned cash on watching these amazing athletes in action, admission to tonight’s match is FREE (yes, FREE!). Have a think about what you spent on your smashed avo and turmeric latte this morning and compare that to the full two hours of free entertainment you’ll be able to catch tonight. It’s a no-brainer.
To sweeten the deal, the AFL and Etihad Stadium have announced a flat-rate parking fee of $10*.
*We at Change Her Game care about your carbon footprint though, so we encourage you to catch public transport or at the very least, car pool.
2. UNDER 18 STATE OF ORIGIN MATCH
If two hours of free entertainment doesn’t convince you, how about you get there early and catch the Under 18 State of Origin match from 5:20pm? Get a first-hand look at some of the 18 year-old stars who will feature prominently in this year’s NAB AFL Women’s Draft.
3. BEST OF THE BEST
This is self-explanatory, but this is your only opportunity all year to see the very best players in the country grace the footy field at the same time. If you’re looking for a higher standard match, you won’t find it anywhere else.
And yes, technically, we’ll be missing out on the wizardry of Erin Phillips and Darcy Vescio… but, don’t be greedy.
The AFL announced that goals kicked from outside 40 metres in tonight’s match will be worth nine points. While it might seem gimmicky to some, we can’t wait to see who will launch the first long-bomb.
There’s a number of players who are capable; Tayla Harris, Sarah Perkins, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Katie Brennan just to name a few. And if Ellie Blackburn can nail her signature move of a long-range goal on the run, she might just lift the roof off.
5. KARA DONNELLAN
Fremantle Captain and all-round superstar of the game will be back in the Big V. The sublime midfielder, affectionately known as Juddy, played a pivotal role in handing Victoria its first ever defeat back in 2015. On that occasion she was wearing the black and gold of Western Australia.
Selection for this match however was based on where a player was born, not where they are based and for that, all Victorians are breathing a sigh of relief.
6. CHELSEA RANDALL
Adelaide Crows and Allies skipper Chelsea Randall is hands-down one of (if not the) best players in country. Any opportunity to watch her play footy in the flesh should NOT be missed.
Randall is the complete footballer. Sublime skills and tough at the contest, she can play in just about any position. Expect to see some her signature pack marks and/or face-melting tackles tonight.
7. KATIE BRENNAN
One of the very few negatives of the inaugural AFLW season is that injury prevented us from seeing the best of Western Bulldogs captain Katie Brennan.
With that troublesome ankle injury well and truly behind her, Brennan has been in a rich vein of form for the Darebin Falcons in the VFL Women’s competition. 20 goals in her last three games helped her secure the joint leading goalkicker award, but more importantly she’s enjoying her footy. KB, welcome back to the big stage!
8. BEC GODDARD
Adelaide premiership coach Bec Goddard will be coaching the Allies tonight. Fresh from coaching an undefeated Under 18 Allies team in the National Championships, Goddard is developing quite a knack for being handed a disparate group of footballers and making them gel in a short space of time. Will she be able to weave her magic for a third time?
With assistant coaches Michelle Cowan (Fremantle senior coach) and Craig Starcevich (Brisbane senior coach) in her corner and the calibre of players at her disposal, the odds are in her favour!
9. ALLIES FORWARD LINE
The Allies have assembled quite a formidable forward line. Tall timber Tayla Harris, Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Katie Brennan has the potential to really stretch Victoria’s defences.
Throw in dynamic forwards Jess Wuetschner and Bianca Jakobsson and the raw pace of Kate McCarthy, we could very well be in for a goal-fest.
10. VICTORIA’S MIDFIELD
Get a load of the names that could potentially roll through Victoria’s midfield; Alicia Eva, Jaimee Lambert, Karen Paxman, Emma Kearney, Daisy Pearce, Sarah Hosking, Ellie Blackburn, Jess Dal Pos, Lauren Arnell, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Lily Mithen and Kara Donnellan…. We’ll give you a moment to take that all in.
Brianna Davey and Melissa Hickey could have their hands full with the aforementioned Allies forward line, but they have both become A-grade midfielders in their own right. Debbie Lee and co. have the added luxury of throwing them into the midfield mix if some extra grunt is required.
Related: Check out the full team lists and guernsey numbers
So, as you can see, there are no excuses, we’ll see you at Etihad Stadium tonight. And for all of you based interstate, don’t forget to tune in to the live broadcast on Channel 7 tonight… and lastly, GO THE VICS!
(Photo: AFL Photos)