Development

More AFL female pathways than ever

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There are more pathways today for females wanting to play AFL than ever before and there will be more talent development opportunities resulting from the launch of the elite women’s league next year. With female football growing at such a rapid rate, it’s never been easier to find an all female local team to play in.

The Auskick program is a great place for girls to start. The program is for boys and girls but there are some all girls Auskick centres. With no tackling and modified rules, it’s a fun and safe way to get young girls involved in the sport.

In the younger age groups (5 to 8 years), girls will learn the fundamental skills required and then in the older age groups (9 to 12 years), they’ll get to test these skills in simulated matches and drills.

Junior Football allows girls between the ages of 8 and 12 to experience the excitement of club football if they’ve already completed a few seasons of Auskick. The rules are still modified and where there are no junior girls competitions, girls can play in mixed gender teams.

From Auskick and Junior Football, Youth Girls  is the ideal progression for 13 to 18 year olds. It provides the opportunity to play in an all girl competition within a club. Girls can still play in mixed gender teams up to the age of 14, but it’s recommended that girls from the age of 13 play in structured Youth Girls competitions.

Girls aged between 15 and 18 should be playing in AFL Youth Girls competitions using appropriate AFL Youth Girls rules. Top players are chosen to represent their state and play in the Under 18 AFL Youth Girls National Championships.

Through School Sport Australia, schoolgirls playing in their local state schools competitions can now play at a higher level in the 15s Schoolgirls Championships which are played alongside the Schoolboys Championships. This championship has become a significant step in the talent pathway for female players.

The Senior Women’s League is for Youth Girls graduating to senior level. There’s a minimum age of 17 for this open-age competition with clubs and leagues in each state. The best players are selected to play for their state in the Women’s National Championships. This league will become the feeder for the new elite AFL national women’s league to start next year.

If you’re looking to join a team, here’s where you can find out where to play.

By BTS
Big Time Sports Writer

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