AFLW Winter Series announced for north-eastern states
In a move set to broaden the standard of AFL Women’s football in the north-eastern states, the GWS GIANTS today announced the implementation of a Second-Tier Representative Program known as the ‘AFLW Winter Series’, in partnership with the AFL, AFL NSW/ACT and AFL Queensland.
With the New South Wales, ACT and Queensland states currently without a state-wide competition for AFL Women’s players to participate in during the AFLW off-season, as it is, the local players currently return to their community clubs. Unlike the men’s competition, which has the NEAFL at a ‘reserves’ level for those in the AFL.
Introducing the AFLW Winter Series, which will include a series of four matches starting in May, means that players can stay within their own states to play football at a high standard, and develop their own game throughout the process, while still supporting community football competitions in 2018.
The AFLW Winter Series serves as an opportunity for New South Wales and ACT talent to train at an elite level and play alongside and against AFL Women’s players.
The GWS GIANTS, Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions will field teams in this competition, with each team granted a list of 30 players.
For the GIANTS, they will present two teams with the squads selected by region with a Sydney based team and an ACT/Southern NSW team set to play.
The ‘Northern GIANTS’ will be comprised players from AFL Sydney, AFL Central West Women’s, Black Diamond League, AFL North West NSW, AFL North Coast, while the ‘Southern GIANTS’ will be based in the ACT with the squad comprised of players from women’s competitions in AFL Canberra, AFL Riverina and AFL Broken Hill.
All AFLW players signed to the GIANTS will play within these teams, pending their return to their home states during this time.
AFL NSW/ACT Female Football Manager, Hannah Davis, says this is a great opportunity to grow, enhance and retain the AFL Women’s talent in the New South Wales and ACT region.
“It has been a key priority for us to be able to offer a complete pathway through to AFLW for females in New South Wales and the ACT,” says Davis.
“We are thrilled to be able to announce this first step in establishing a second-tier competition for the north-eastern states, as we continue to work towards a more expansive competition in coming years.”
The GIANTS will hold testing days in April in both New South Wales and the ACT.
Expressions of interest are open for coaching and support staff roles for the GIANTS Sydney and Canberra teams.
Details of talent identification events will be confirmed in the coming days, with participants of previous talent identification events encouraged to attend.