Media Release

Port Adelaide AFLW team paves the way for greater female participation in SA

Thursday, August 12

SANFL congratulates the Port Adelaide Football Club for its successful bid to enter the AFLW in 2022-23.

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler said Port Adelaide’s entry into AFLW would pave the way for even stronger female participation growth and greater talent pathway opportunities in South Australia.

“It’s a really exciting time for female football in South Australia and we congratulate Port Adelaide for the opportunity it has been presented,” Mr Chandler said.

“The Port Adelaide AFLW team will no doubt open the door for a significant crop of elite SANFLW players next year with a desire to play football at the highest level in their home State.

“Port Adelaide has done a fantastic job in developing its Female Next Generation Academy in preparation for its entry into the national women’s competition in 2022.”

Mr Chandler said in South Australia, over 8,300 females were registered to play club football in 2021 – a 14 per cent increase on 2020 and double the number registered since 2017.

He said this was a remarkable result given the challenging environment for community sport last year and recognition of the great work SANFL’s Game Development team is doing to grow programs and competitions across the State.

“SANFL has continued to successfully grow female football and it will be exciting to see both Adelaide and Port Adelaide field teams in the AFLW, enabling us to further build participation and provide a clear and expanded talent pathway for young female players,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, the strength and growth of both the AFLW and the SANFLW have been an inspiration for a new generation of junior female footy players.”

Mr Chandler confirmed the SANFL Women’s league season structure would remain the same in 2022, running from February to May with an expanded 12-minor round fixture.

SANFLW also would move to a reduced 16-a-side (plus four on interchange) competition in 2022 to align with the AFLW.

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