AFL Central Victoria has convened a working group to develop a vision and strategy for female football in our region for 2018-2021. This strategy will include the introduction of an AFL Central Victoria Women’s Competition available to all clubs within the region.
It took eight years to grow the first 100 female teams in Victoria, two years to grow the next 100 teams and 1 year to grow the next 100 teams, this was in season 2016. Rapid growth is also expected after the inaugural AFL Women’s season with over 100 new female teams projected.
The Bendigo Junior Football League started the Youth Girls (U/18) competition in 2011 with 5 teams. They introduced an U/12 competition in 2015 and this year an U/15 competition. From just 5 teams in 2011 they now have 24 teams. This is up 8 teams from last year.
In addition, there are 3 teams from our region competing in the Northern Country Women’s League, this league was introduced in conjunction with AFL Goulburn Murray.
The Bendigo Thunder has been providing an opportunity for females to play football in an open competition since 2011 with a second team introduced this year.
The Bendigo Pioneers have a team in the new TAC Cup Girls competition.
Carol Cathcart, AFL Central Victoria Regional General Manager, said “The working group brings together a wealth of knowledge from stakeholders with representation from the City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo Thunder, Bendigo Pioneers, league representation and of course Commission and staff from AFL Central Victoria.”
“The group will consider attraction and retention of players including culture, facilities and coaching, competition and talent pathways and governance.”
The strategy will be completed in August.