New pathway for Canadian players
Canadian female footy players striving for an AFL Women’s career will have another potential pathway, with international partner Williamstown Football Club winning a licence for the VFL Women’s 2018 season.
Williamstown FC – the Seagulls – hosted the Canadian national teams for the 2017 International Cup and CEO Jason Reddick said the club was keen to continue that relationship.
“We view our partnership with AFL Canada as a long-term relationship and we were pleased with the first steps taken in 2017,” he said.
“We will look to expand and strengthen that partnership in the coming years and a close connection with our VFL Women’s team will be a key platform for that.”
Reddick said the club was impressed by many Northern Lights during the International Cup and although he recognised the close relationship Canadians have shared with fellow VFLW club Eastern Devil, the Seagulls would still welcome any suitable recruits.
He said the women would benefit from the same facilities their VFL men did.
“We have more extensive resources to develop their games such as video analysis of individual games, GPS data, a program interconnected with a professional men’s program providing experienced/high quality coaching, high performance, nutrition and medical services,” he said.
This year Williamstown FC also launched a player welfare program to service the needs of their players in terms of all aspects off the field.
“Our program helps with housing, employment, education placements, job training/apprenticeships, counselling and financial advice,” Reddick said.
“We are very proud of this program and the outcomes it is delivering.
“Our female players will have the exact same access to this program which will clearly be a valuable service to any international girls looking to relocate.”
The club will hold a talent identification session on November 24 at Victoria University, Melbourne, where prospective players will be able to come and try out to be a part of the inaugural women's team.