SANFL MEDIA RELEASE
The SA Football Commission has announced Central District and Woodville-West Torrens will join the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League in 2019.
In addition, the Commission has given the green light for SANFL to explore the introduction of a women’s Super Series competition in 2019. The Super Series would be played in winter to provide a further elite pathway to AFLW for South Australia’s most talented female players.
SANFL CEO Jake Parkinson said female participation had grown at such a significant rate over the past 12 months that it was now viable to introduce two more teams to the women’s State League.
“The rapid growth of women’s football presented many varied demands from all stakeholders and we believe the new proposed structure can deliver on many of those,” Mr Parkinson said.
“It was extremely important that we protected the integrity of the SANFLW competition whilst completing the talent pathway at SANFL clubs through the inclusion of Central District and Woodville West Torrens football clubs.
“At the same time, we want a solution to retain talented players, including those who are AFLW listed players, in South Australia in the winter. A series in winter will further challenge the elite end of the SANFLW talent, provide a local solution for AFLW listed players and provide Port Adelaide FC with an opportunity to develop talent whist meeting its aspirations to provide an avenue to entry into AFLW.”
The expansion to an eight-team competition in the Statewide Super Women’s League next year follows a detailed submission process to enter the league from both Central District and Woodville-West Torrens.
Central and the Eagles will join the existing six teams – Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, South Adelaide, Sturt and West Adelaide.
The competition will follow a similar format to the successful 2018 season, with seven minor rounds and a three-round finals series, kicking off in February and concluding with the grand final in April.
Statewide Super will continue as naming rights sponsor of the SANFL women’s league, as well as again contributing prize money of $20,000 – the highest amount for any women’s state league in the nation.
A proposal for a winter Super Series will be further explored with a desire for a six to nine round competition, commencing shortly after the State League season, that will comprise AFLW players and the best of SANFLW talent spread across participating teams.
Mr Parkinson said SANFL had discussed the winter competition concept with both Port Adelaide and Adelaide football clubs who were both interested in receiving more detail on the concept and would continue to work with each on the logistics and mechanics of the proposal, including team composition.
He said the new Super Series competition was a key component in “fast forwarding female talent pathways in SA”.
Key female participation statistics:
- Total number of females playing Australian Rules football in SA in 2017 was 4,678, compared to 2,741 in 2016.
- Current 2018 registration figures show 6,602 females are playing football in SA. Year to date there has been a 52 per cent increase in participation since 2017.
- In SANFL Juniors across the metro area, there are 98 girls’ teams competing in 2018, from under 8s through to under 16s, rising from 61 in 2017 and 16 in 2016.
- Four additional women’s leagues introduced this year across regional SA, with the expansion this year of existing leagues in the Limestone Coast, Barossa-Gawler and Southern regions.
CHIEF SANFL WRITER