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Thursday, February 21 2019 @ 10:18 am ACDT

Women’s Pilgrimage From London To Melbourne Gains Momentum

The VFLW competition got under way in Melbourne this weekend, and amongst other things it featured the debut of yet another AFL London player having made the journey to the other side of the world to live a dream. The selection of Isy Currenti for the Geelong Cats and Jessica Edwards for Collingwood brings to five the amount of women to have played in the AFL London competition and made it to either AFLW or VFLW lists.

As it stands, there are only the eight AFLW teams, but there are far more in the VFLW, and many of them will receive the necessary licensing and permission to become AFL teams over to next couple of seasons. It provides a very real pipeline for talented women across the world to follow – from their home league to VFLW to AFLW.

(Picture: Jessica Edwards in action for Collingwood)

Whilst the recruitment of Irish pair, Cora Staunton (County Mayo to GWS) and Laura Corrigan Duryea (Irish Banshees to Melbourne Demons) gained recognition at the time, it is the procession of players from the AFL London competition who are blazing a train for other women to follow.

Lauren Spark’s journey has taken her from the Wimbledon Hawks in London to the Western Bulldogs in the AFLW. Another ex-Hawk, Kate Shierlaw, was born in Adelaide and barracked for Carlton. But her journey back to the Blues was via Wimbledon in the AFL London competition. Collingwood’s Lauren Tesoriero also cut her footballing teeth with the Wandsworth Demons in London.

Another former Wandsworth Demon, Jessica Edwards (see [20171128135147895]), has lined up this weekend with the Collingwood Magpies VFLW team. Now, with Isy Currenti pulling on the Geelong jumper after leaving the Wimbledon Hawks to reach the pinnacle of women’s footy, there are five women who have shown that they can leave their familiar past behind and chase greater goals.

They have also proved that English women, and indeed women from anywhere in the world, do have the talent to reach the lists of VFLW and then AFLW lists. All it takes is the courage and determination to take that leap of faith.

For both Jessica Edwards and Isy Currenti, the journey is far from over. Both would have their sights firmly set on taking the next step to the AFLW next season and now that they are in the system here in Australia, with the best coaches, staff and facilities available for women in football, there is little to stop them other than themselves.

Moreover, their deeds will act as an inspiration to other women, and younger girls starting their journeys, to chase their own footballing dreams – wherever that may take them.
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