Geelong Cats enter Swisse VFL Women's
AFL Victoria has today announced that Geelong Cats (AFL) have been granted a licence to compete in the Swisse VFL Women’s competition in 2017.
The move comes after North Geelong Magpies, in consultation with AFL Victoria, have decided to transfer their VFL licence to the Geelong Cats to ensure players in the region have access to the opportunities, resources and development that an AFL club can provide.
The move is aimed at helping further grow the talent pool in the region, with Geelong the first AFL club to be granted a VFL Women's licence. While North Geelong will no longer compete in the VFL Women's competition, they will continue to field a senior women's side in 2017.
AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper said North Geelong has paved the way for a strong women's football presence in the region.
"North Geelong has played an important role in developing women's football in the region, as well as the work of AFL Barwon at a Youth Girls level,” Reaper said.
“AFL Victoria would like to thank North Geelong president Jason Habib, coach Steven Janssen and the committee and volunteers for their tireless efforts in the inaugural year of the VFL Women’s competition.
“Their leadership and commitment has helped develop women's football and the relationship with Geelong, and this hard work was rewarded at the women’s draft with three players selected, which is a credit to the club.”
Maddie Boyd, Richelle Cranston and Lily Mithen all headed to Melbourne in the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s draft on Wednesday. It caps off a successful few years in AFL Victoria’s competitions for the club, having won a VWFL premiership and earned their spot in the inaugural VFL Women’s competition in 2016.
Across the 2016 season, North Geelong worked closely with Geelong to enhance their VFL Women's program, which included a double-header Peter Jackson VFL/Swisse VFL Women’s match in May at Simonds Stadium.
North Geelong president Jason Habib said the club is proud of what it has been able to achieve in such a short period of time.
“The North Geelong Football Club is very proud that we have been leaders in women's football and have been able to provide an opportunity for women in the region to play our great game,” Habib said.
“To see three players drafted on Wednesday highlights the hard work done over the years by our players and staff in providing a pathway for female footballers in the region.
“We are committed to providing opportunities for women to play at a local level as well as assisting them to be selected by the Geelong Cats VFL Women's team in 2017.”
Geelong Cats CEO Brian Cook said it is an exciting time for the club gaining a VFL Women's licence.
“This will give young females in our region currently the opportunity to pursue their passion for football by playing with the Geelong Cats,” Cook said.
“In 2017 we will establish a Women’s Academy, as we believe this will have a lasting and positive impact on the region. And, excitingly, the key component in delivering this academy is to establish a VFL team to kick-start the growth of the game in the region."