Second female footy change planned
FEMALE footy will move to Saturdays from 2025, according to AFL Barwon general manager Edward Wilson.
The plan comes just over a month after the local sports governing body announced Senior and Under 19 Female Football will be primarily played on Friday nights in 2024.
“As part of AFL Barwon’s planning consultations with clubs, we’re entering into a two-year transition period in 2024 where games will be split across Fridays and the regular Sunday timeslot,” Wilson said.
“In 2025, we are then planning for that day of play to be Saturday for senior female football, as that will provide an equitable approach between senior female football and senior male football.”
Wilson said the two-year transition plan across 2024 and 2025 was imperative for sustainability and long-term growth.
All underage female football age brackets will remain on Sunday alongside junior male football, due to a considerable cohort of female footballers participating in netball competitions on Saturday already.
“There is considerable representation of junior female footballers playing netball as well, so it’s unrealistic to get them both on the same day, but at the senior level it is definitely possible,” Wilson said.
AFL Barwon implemented day of play changes for 2024 in accordance with the recommendation of its 2025 Fair Access Policy, citing critical policy changes were needed for continued growth in female football growth across the Barwon region.
Female participation in the Barwon Region in 2023 rose by 17 per cent across all competitions.
Wilson also said there was an opportunity for daily attendances to increase at grounds with senior female football moving to Saturdays.
“Not only do we believe we can generate greater crowds, but also we can bring more people through gates for the benefit of the clubs themselves.
“If we can create an environment on Saturdays that is more equitable, it will provide greater opportunities for our female footballers, and we can only see really positive benefits throughout the region as a result.”
Wilson and the team at AFL Barwon will spend the first half of this year formulating scheduling structures for what matchday timings will look like across senior men’s football, women’s football, and netball played on Saturday.
AFL Barwon female football competitions will begin from April 5.