AFL Boosts Women’s Footy, Launches National 10-Match Exhibition Series

Eager to capitalise on the success of last year’s matches before a fully-fledged women’s league kicks off in 2017, the AFL has announced a string of ten women’s exhibition fixtures starting next month.

In a statement, the AFL said the series is slated to take place across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, and will showcase talent in the game at club, academy, and state levels.

The first match will be a rematch between representatives of Melbourne and Western Bulldogs; last year, to a televised audience of over 175,000 in Melbourne alone, the Demons (Demonesses?) emerged victorious in Game 2 6.4 (40) to 5.6 (36).

That match and others – including curtain-raisers before games in the men’s comp –  will form three individual rounds before the establishment of a full league system next year. 

Some vital aspects – like, ahem, pay for the athletes – are yet to be nailed down before 2017, but teams across the country are currently vying to fill the eight proposed league spots available. 

The aforementioned Dogs and Demons are front runners for two of four allocated Melbourne slots, while the Adelaide Crows have also announced they’re dead keen on a place too. 

This is exciting ??! The AFL’s indicated there’s likely to be a team from SA in next year’s inaugural national women’s comp! Club statement Media story

Posted by Adelaide Football Club on Friday, 19 February 2016

Before that though, the ten match exhibition series looks like the next best chance for Australia to check out what women’s footy is all about. The series is lookin’ like this:

Round 1
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs
5.10pm Sunday March 6
Highgate Recreational Reserve, Craigieburn
SANFL All Stars
10.40am Saturday April 2
Adelaide Oval
Sydney Swans v GWS Giants
1.40pm Saturday April 9
West Coast Eagles v Fremantle
3.10pm Saturday April 9
Domain Stadium
Northern Territory v Tasmania
12.10pm Sunday April 10
Peanut Reserve, St Kilda
Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast Suns
7.40pm Saturday April 16
Round 2
Melbourne v Queensland
10.40am Sunday May 22
Western Bulldogs v Western Australia
12.40pm Sunday June 5
Etihad Stadium
South Australia v New South Wales
1.10pm Sunday June 5
Adelaide Oval
Round 3 – The Hampson-Hardeman Cup 
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne
7.20pm Saturday September 2
Venue TBC

Source: ABC / AFL / Fox Footy. 
Photo: Darrian Traynor / Getty.