Interest in women’s footy is at an all-time high.
There is massive support for the AFL’s national women’s competition, which is slated to be introduced for the 2017 season, ahead of the next AFL broadcast rights deal.
Women’s footy is one of the AFL’s biggest growth markets, and AFL clubs are keen to get a slice of the action after the success of the two women’s exhibition matches played last year between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.
On Saturday the AFL held the first of their six national talent searches in a bid to identify the country’s top female footballers and ensure the national women’s league will have enough talent to ensure the competition flourishes.
Up to 140 prospective female athletes attended the event at Whitten Oval, which tested the girls’ athletic abilities in a similar way to the AFL’s draft combine.
AFL Victoria have also recently introduced a Women’s Football Academy that will see more that 100 of the state’s best female footballers undertake a nine-month program involving training and skills testing at several AFL club venues.
And an AFL 9’s Primary School Gala Day was held late last year to introduce young kids to footy through the modified social rules. This was the first of its kind held by AFL Victoria and it was an overwhelming success.
Most noteworthy was the large representation of girls at the Gala Day. There were 14 girls-only teams involved, as well as 22 mixed teams comprised both girls and boys.
The SMJFL is the second largest junior girls football competition in Australia and have pathways in place to help girls transition into the elite level.
The league runs Under 12, Under 15 and Youth Girls (Under 18) competitions, with a new Under 9 competition to be added for the 2016 season.
Interleague footy also gives girls the chance to represent the SMJFL, just like the boys.
So get involved, ‘coz girls play footy too!