We were chuffed to see the AFLW debut last year and are looking forward to the new season in 2018. The first game will be on Friday, February 2 and the grand final will be played on Saturday, March 24.
We seemingly are not the only ones happy to see the new league having a good following. There was a jump in participation of over 10 percent with over 1.5 million people having a kick. About 450,000 of those were female.
Andrew Dillion, AFL manager of development gives much of the credit for the rise in participation to the AFLW.
“The participation in Australian football has risen by 10.24 per cent this year and the NAB AFL Women’s competition has played a key role in contributing to that growth,” Dillon said. “We knew AFLW would have an incredible impact on women playing the game as it provides an opportunity to aspire to.”
Seventeen hundred new female teams were inaugurated in 2016, a huge 76 percent increase. We would same women’s teams, but there are also girls squads that will eventually feed the upper levels.
Not only that, but the growth was in every state and territory. The game is also growing on an international level.
Like last year, the AFLW will have eight teams, with sides in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and four in Victoria.
Another sign of growth for the AFLW is that all the games in the upcoming season will stand on their own, instead of opening for the men’s pre-season play.
The league is also going to do some traveling outside their home areas, playing in Darwin, Moe, Canberra and Alice Springs.
In something of a twist, Adelaide and Brisbane were the top draws last year in terms of attendance, but Fremantle, Sydney and Melbourne had good spectator crowds.
The AFLW also had a State of Origin game, Victoria versus the others and that has talk of a similar event for the AFL in high gear.