Women will make their debut at the 2018 MAC SA Country Championships in an historic first for the highly-anticipated annual event to be held in the Riverland on July 7 and 8.
Such is the rapid growth of female football across South Australia, five of the six zones have confirmed they will participate across both days of the carnival to be held at the home of the Renmark Football Club.
While the men do battle on one of the Renmark Rovers’ ovals, the women will square off on the other, with new goalposts to be installed to accommodate the increase in matches at a secondary venue on the same site.
‘’It’s fantastic to provide women with the opportunity to play at the MAC SA Country Championships,’’ SANFL Community Football Manager Matt Duldig said.
‘’We’ve all seen how popular Australian Football has become through the advent of AFLW and the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League, so it’s great to see this is another extension of that.’’
As many as nine new female competitions have been created within six different SA Community Football Leagues this year alone, providing a wide enough pool of talent to participate in the MAC SA Country Championships.
There is now a total of nine different Community Football Leagues running women’s football competitions from Under-13 level right through to Seniors.
‘’With six new competitions and two more to come, we are really excited about the growth of female football in SA,’’ SANFL Female Engagement Coordinator Tash Hudoba said.
‘’It has been reinvigorating clubs across the regions during their regular seasons in winter but now also in what was previously their off-season – during summer.
‘’It’s great to see the football clubs now engaging with their local communities with more people involved and also at different times of the year.
‘’The clubs are enthusiastic about providing girls with an opportunity to play a sport they previously haven’t been able to get involved in within their local area.
‘’From the Leagues’ point of view, a lot have started out with junior competitions with the intention of building from the bottom up to form a senior competition in the near future.’’
Since summer, SANFL has conducted as many as 20 ‘’Come and Try’’ sessions for females in regional areas such as the Riverland, Port Lincoln, Barossa Valley, Whyalla and Victor Harbor.
‘’Above all else, they just want to have fun by playing a new sport,’’ Hudoba said.
Now those who are just starting out can see another link in the pathway – via the MAC SA Country Championships – to the SANFLW and AFLW competitions at elite level.
‘’The MAC SA Country Championships is the perfect way for girls from regional areas to display their talent against the best from country SA,’’ Hudoba said.
‘‘For the SANFL clubs it can be a great new recruiting opportunity to come and view the girls playing at the one venue across two days at a higher standard of football.’’
2018 MAC SA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Match Schedule – Men’s (Renmark Oval)
Group One Group Two
Saturday July 7
- 10am Western v Southern Districts
- 11:10am Murray South East v Central
- 12:20pm Southern Districts v Northern
- 1:30pm Central v Eastern
- 2:40pm Western v Northern
- 3:50pm Eastern v Murray South East
Sunday July 8
- 8:00am Auskick Clinic
- 9:30am 3rd in Group One v 3rd in Group Two
- 11:15am 2nd in Group One v 2nd in Group Two
- 1.00pm 1st in Group One v 1st in Group Two
Match Schedule – Women’s
Saturday July 7 (Renmark FC Oval 2)
9:15am – Central v Eastern
10am – Northern v Southern
10:45am – South East v Central
11:30am – Eastern v Northern
12:15pm – Southern v South East
1pm – Northern v Central
1:45pm – Southern v Eastern
2:30pm – South East v Northern
3:15pm – Central v Southern
4pm – Eastern v South East
Sunday July 8 (Renmark FC Oval 2)
10am – 1st Ranked Team v 2nd Ranked Team
Adelaide Plains FL
Barossa, Light and Gawler FA
North Eastern FL
Yorke Peninsula FL
Murray South East
River Murray FL
Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara FL
Mid South East FL
Western Border FL
Far North FL
Broken Hill FL
Northern Areas FA
Spencer Gulf FL
Great Southern FL
Kangaroo Island FL
Eastern Eyre FL
Far West FL
Great Flinders FL
Mid West FL
Port Lincoln FL
HONOUR ROLL – Champion, Best Player, Best U21 Player
1994- Eyre Peninsula (Western)
1995 – Southern Districts
1996 – Southern Districts
1997 – Eyre Peninsula (Western)
1999 – Eyre Peninsula (Western)
2001 – Mid North
2003 – Southern Districts
2004 – Southern Districts Matt Joraslafsky (SD) Adam Merrett (SE)
2005 – Southern Districts Justin Henscke (SD) Todd Miles (C)
Leighton Wilksch (C)
2006 – Central Adam Merrett (SE) Ryan Darling (C)
2007 – Southern Districts Damien Stevens (MMB) Tyrone Hill (SD)
2008 – Murray Mallee Todd Miles (C) Ryan Bennett (MMBB)
2009 – Southern Districts Mitchell Portlock (SD) Greg Bain (Eastern)
2010 – Southern Districts Josh Vick (SD) Ben Yeomans (C)
2011 – Eyre Peninsula (Western) Matthew Woolford (N) Levi Konitzka (EP)
2012 – Southern Districts Tyson Wait (MSE) Tom Johnson (SD)
2013 – Central Michael Liebelt (Central) Patrick Barrett (Eastern)
2014 – Murray South East Liam O’Neil (MSE) Jack Kenny (EP)
Ben McIntyre (MSE)
2015- Southern Districts Jack Kenny (EP) Campbell Combe (Northern)
Xavier Watson (EP)
2016 – Murray South East Brian Fenton (MSE) Campbell Combe (Northern)
2017 – Murray South East Jack Kelly (MSE) Domenico Costanzo (Central)
CHIEF SANFL WRITER