Calling all footy-loving women: we want you!
After success in its inaugural year, the Barossa, Light and Gawler Female Football Competition – now known as the Co-op BLGW – is expanding the competition to include senior women in its 2018 season.
BLGW chairperson Natalie Seaman revealed the big had a tremendous amount of support at the league’s recent AGM.
“This is our opportunity to take girls football, and women in this region to the next step, to the next level, and if we can have it just as successful as this year, or even more successful,” Seaman said.
“That’s what we’re looking for is just to build on what we started last year, get as many girls involved as we can, give as many girls the opportunity to play as we can and that now includes senior women.
“It’s just about giving girls and women the opportunity to play football.”
Seaman revealed the additional age group was discussed before the inaugural season, however, the reason for the move was two-fold.
“One, I’m just really keen to get a senior women’s competition up and running in the Barossa, and two, what happens to the 17-year-olds that were part of the competition this year, what happens to them next year,” she said.
“If they want to keep going with it they’ve got to the city, and play in a team in the city, and we lose them from our system.
“We’ve got them into our system here in the Barossa now we don’t want to lose them again – they probably played when they were in primary school with the boys and we lost them then, and we’ve got them back in, so we don’t want to lose them again.
“It’s got to be that continual pathway, and that will help us to do that.”
The additional age group is just one of the improvements to the local female football competition, including the name change to BLGW, as a nod to the ultimate goal for some of the players.
“Everybody associates the W with AFLW, so BLGW everybody knows what it is, you don’t have to explain it to them,” Seaman said.
Field length will also be stepped up, moving from the ‘third-field’ to ‘half-field’ sized ovals, set out on each wing of the main oval, while modified rules will be reviewed prior to the season commencing.
“You’ve got to be careful, you can’t just go ‘oh yep, it’s been a big success now we’re going to have a full field, no modified rules and a season as long as the boys’ – we’ll just do baby steps,” Seaman said.
Games will once again be played on Sundays while the 2018 BLGW season will feature earlier in the year, starting April 8, to allow for better weather and to flow into representative football, like the Central Zone Carnival and the Talent Shield.
The SANFL will organise come and try days over three Sundays in February next year, at Tanunda, South Gawler and Williamstown – watch this space.