With a new name and expanded competition, the 2022 Hostplus SANFL Women’s League is set to be the most significant season yet for female football in South Australia.
Kicking off this Friday night (February 4), the 2022 season marks the start of a new naming rights partnership between SANFL and Hostplus, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds.
The partnership will see Hostplus have the naming rights for both the SANFL Women’s and Men’s Leagues until at least the end of 2023.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler said the League was thrilled to have such a respected national brand as Hostplus on board for both its elite men’s and women’s competitions.
“This partnership is a tremendous boost for SANFL football and recognition of our State League competitions as the best in the nation – it certainly stands SANFL in great stead for the future,” Mr Chandler said.
Hostplus Chief Executive Officer David Elia said:
“It’s an honour to partner with a quality organisation like SANFL and to support the Women’s League. We look forward to delivering excellent superannuation outcomes for our South Australian members following our merger with Statewide Super this year.”
The 2022 season also will see the start of the inaugural SANFLW Development League, a seven-round competition aligned to SANFLW as part of the expansion of SANFL’s talent pathways.
Mr Chandler said there was a tremendous air of excitement around this year’s SANFLW with the new opportunities for future stars to shine in the Development League and on the back of record-breaking female football numbers in SA in 2021.
More than 9,000 women and girls registered to play football at clubs across the State in 2021, representing a 25 per cent increase on 2020 numbers.
“Clearly, the strength and growth of both the Hostplus SANFL Women’s League and AFLW are inspirational for the next generation of female footballers,” Mr Chandler said.
“We are extremely proud to be introducing the new SANFLW Development League and greater dedicated female talent pathway programs. Ultimately, these initiatives will provide more opportunities for elite young female players to realise their dream of playing at the highest level of our game, even more so ahead of Port Adelaide’s entry into the AFLW.”
The 2022 SANFL Women’s League season has been expanded to 12 minor rounds in 2022, concluding with a three-week Finals Series in May.
Round one of the Women’s League commences on Friday night with reigning premiers Glenelg against 2021 minor premiers Norwood in a blockbuster standalone season-opener under lights at The Parade.
Last season’s runner-up West Adelaide will play its first game at home against North Adelaide, with the two competition heavyweights lining up in the first match of a double-header at Hisense Stadium on Saturday, February 5. Woodville-West Torrens is then up against a youthful Sturt outfit in the second contest for the afternoon at Hisense Stadium.
Central District hosts regular finalist South Adelaide at X Convenience Oval on Saturday.
Several players with AFLW experience continue to filter into the Hostplus SANFLW League, with Woodville-West Torrens enticing former Gold Coast Suns Jordann Hickey and Leah Kaslar, while former AFLW Crows player Renee Forth will be full-time with the Eagles.
West Adelaide has secured the services of delisted West Coast Eagle Beatrice Devlyn while former Fremantle Docker Jade DeMelo has joined North Adelaide as Georgia Bevan lands back at Sturt after an AFLW season with the Suns.
The first seven rounds were announced in December with the remainder of the fixture to be announced shortly.
Entry to all Hostplus SANFL Women’s League standalone minor round matches is free, while all matches will be streamed live and on-demand on SANFL Now. For more details and to subscribe visit sanflnow.com.au
Friday, February 4
Norwood v Glenelg | Coopers Stadium | 8:00pm
Saturday, February 5
West Adelaide v North Adelaide | Hisense Stadium | 12:45pm
Central District v South Adelaide | X Convenience Oval | 12:50pm
Eagles v Sturt | Hisense Stadium | Hisense Stadium | 2:55pm
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