Darebin and Melbourne Uni still standing in 2018 VFLW
Friday, November 03 2017 @ 02:35 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
Darebin Falcons and Melbourne Uni are the only original clubs to remain in the Victoria's state league competition for women, with final 2018 teams named today.
The other clubs through a variety of factors have either chosen, or been forced to hand over their licences to VFL/AFL clubs or hand in their licence. One of these factors has been the massive increase of the licence fee by a factor of around ten times which clubs believed they would not be able to finance in their current state.
Other factors such as the imposition of a minimum standard of facilities the club must provide should bring great benefits to the development of players, but have also made it impossible for clubs to meet as stand alone community clubs with limited financial resources.
International players in the league such as Irish pair Laura Corrigan-Duryea and Clara Fitzpatrick, and Canadians Kendra Heil and Valerie Moureau will all need to find new clubs if they are to continue at state league level.
AFL Victoria has confirmed the position of the remaining 2017 Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s clubs for the expanded 2018 competition.
In changes from the 2017 structure, Diamond Creek, Eastern Devils and St Kilda Sharks have informed AFL Victoria they will not be continuing in the VFL Women’s competition, while premiers Darebin and Melbourne Uni have committed to the league for next season.
AFL Victoria Competitions Manager John Hook wished to thank the three departing clubs for the role they played in establishing a state-league competition for women, with their community level teams now their key focus into the future.
“These clubs have played a significant role in the development of women’s football from the VWFL through to being foundation clubs in the VFL Women’s competition,” Hook said.
“They have been leaders in providing opportunities for players and officials to develop in their regions, while building strong community relationships to help grow the game.
“Each club has a rich history in women’s football, and should be acknowledged for the role they have played over many years at the highest level.
“These clubs will continue to lead the way in women’s football, as they focus on the next generation of players and coaches at a community level.”
The third season of the state-league women’s competition will see Box Hill Hawks, Darebin, Geelong and Melbourne Uni joined by Casey Demons, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond, St Kilda (Southern Saints), Western Bulldogs (VU Western Spurs) and Williamstown next year.
The 2018 Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s season will start in May, with the full fixture to be released by mid-December.