SIX clubs – including five AFL aligned sides will join the Swiss Wellness VFL Women’s competition in 2018 to assist with the growth of the women’s game and expansion of AFLW in 2019-20.
AFL Victoria announced it had granted licences to Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond and St Kilda, as well as VFL standalone club Williamstown, to join the competition, while the Victoria University Western Spurs will become known as the Western Bulldogs and wear the red, white and blue in a strengthening of the two clubs’ relationship.
Seaford will transfer its licence to St Kilda, with the Saints to partner with the Frankston Football Club to become known as the Southern Saints, while the Casey Demons will form part of the expanded competition after Cranbourne transferred its licence to Casey in August. It brings the current number of possible competing clubs to 14, with the final team structure for 2018 season to be announced at the end of October after all current clubs have assessed their position in the competition for next year.
VFL 2018 season updated teams: *subject to change
- Box Hill;
- Casey Demons;
- Darebin Falcons;
- Diamond Creek;
- Eastern Devils;
- Melbourne University;
- Southern Saints;
- Western Bulldogs; and
AFL Victoria competitions manager John Hook said the addition of new clubs to the competition will help create more state-league opportunities for women across Victoria,” he said. “This is certainly an exciting time for our competition, providing more chances for women to showcase their skills at state-league level in Victoria. “The interest from clubs wanting to join VFL Women’s has been overwhelming and we have been working with all licensees to ensure they meet key criteria for a strong and sustainable competition moving forward.
“A key focus for all the clubs entering the VFL Women’s competition has been the development of talent in their regions, continuing to expand the pathway from the TAC Cup Girls competition and Next Generation Academies. “AFLW expansion starts in 2019 with six new clubs enteing the competition over two years, so the Victorian female talent pathway has a key role to play in helping develop future and current AFL players. “Having a strong state-league competition will aid this.”
The fixture will be released in mid-December alongside the Peter Jackson VFL fixture.