LATE last year AFL Wimmera-Mallee sought expressions of interest for a women’s football team, and now a women’s league will be coming to the western district next year.
AFL Western District announced on Thursday the entry of a senior women’s football competition in 2019.
The newly formed competition enables girls who have previously played in the Deakin University Female Football League (DUFFL) junior competition to continue their involvement in football once they reach 18 years old, as well as providing a new opportunity for women to take up the game.
Wimmera clubs Horsham, Horsham Saints and Stawell have fielded sides in the DUFFL for the past two seasons.
At this stage four clubs have confirmed their interest in entering a senior team in the 2019 competition – it is not known at this stage what clubs have done so.
Horsham Demons football director Terry Arnel coached Horsham’s girl’s side and said he would expect the Wimmera region would hopefully be able to form two senior women’s sides to compete in the new competition.
“We are looking at least getting one team from the Wimmera but I’d be expecting with enough notice and a good fixture we could get a couple teams out of the region,” he said.
“The support the competition gets with the girl’s sides has been great but it has to extend so that the overagers, if they are serious about their football, get a chance to play. With two years of the junior girl’s competition done, some will be overage now.
“We certainly had the interest for a team last year but it just didn’t come together.”
Clubs have until March 15 to apply for entry.
The news caps off a big year of growth for the women’s game in the Wimmera region.