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AFL Tasmania Launches New Women’s Competition Model

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FL Tasmania has announced a new competition model for women’s AFL in the state in an effort to further grow the strength of the game.

The move comes after the Tasmanian State League Women’s (TSLW) announced it will not go ahead in 2021 due to three teams only committing to compete in a statewide women’s competition.

The three clubs, Clarence, Glenorchy, and Launceston will now move to regional competitions in both the Northern Tasmanian Football Association Women’s (NTFAW), and Southern Football League Women’s (SFLW).

As part of the new format, the home and away seasons will see each local club compete as normal, before moving to a statewide finals series showcasing the top teams from the three leagues, also including the North West Football League Women’s (NWFLW).

AFL Tasmania head, Damian Gill, said the new structure will give women’s AFL the best chance to succeed in Tasmania, opening more pathways to play at the elite level.

“We are excited by these changes and building on the incredible growth we’ve seen in women’s football at junior and senior levels in recent years,” Gill said.

“Like all sport around Australia, community football in Tasmania was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, but the participation numbers we’re seeing in female football for the year ahead are really encouraging.

“Interest in the game at the junior level is huge and the future of female football in Tasmania looks very bright.

“While disbanding the TSLW competition was not an easy decision, we need to facilitate sustainable competitions.

“The new model means there will be more senior women’s teams than ever before with the SFLW and NTFAW both expanding, and it will give more players the opportunity to compete with the best female footballers in the state each week.

“We will also see representative football take centre stage with the very best talent from the NTFAW, NWFLW and the SFLW showcased in a Tasmanian Women’s All Star Representative Series in June.

“As part of our commitment to long-term future of women’s football in the state, we are seeking nominations for a new female football advisory group, to feature voices from right across the game,” he said.

AFL general manager of women’s football, Nicole Livingstone, said: “Over 600,000 women and girls now play football across the country and participation numbers in Tasmanian women’s football boomed in the latter part of last decade.”

“It’s wonderful to see so many girls involved in the game at a junior participation level, regardless of whether they’re playing for fun, to be active, or those who aspire to play at higher levels.

“While we confronted unexpected challenges in 2020, the momentum behind the women’s game in the state has meant that we have a really strong foundation with which to keep growing female football.

“This new competition model aims to help build out the talent base and enhance the overall standard for the best players.

“At the elite level it’s been fantastic to see players like Mia King and Daria Bannister progress through the state pathway system and excel in the NAB AFL Women’s competition.

“We have incredible role models setting an example for girls across Tasmania, and I’m confident we’ll see even more Tasmanian women coming through the system and competing with the country’s best in years to come,” Livingstone said.