Women join EDFL competition

It’ll be a new frontier for Essendon District Football League when the new women’s competition starts.

The league announced late last month it will have it’s own women’s competition next season, with AFL Victoria commencing the handover of its statewide female competition back to metropolitan leagues.

Several EDFL clubs already have senior women’s teams, while at least three more have indicated they will have teams next season.

EDFL chief executive Marc Turri said it is the ideal time to start a women’s competition next year, with the inaugural AFL women’s competition also under way.

“We’ve had the youth girls competition for a number of years and now have under-12s, under-15s and under-18s,” he said.

“The growth in women’s football can be seen, including in the EDFL. Glenroy, Keilor and Craigieburn are looking at forming women’s teams.

“We’ve got enough numbers to have our own competition,” he said.

“A lot of the growth will come from the under-18s teams. Hopefully, when they graduate from youth girls football, they’ll be looking for a team.”

Craigieburn is looking to set up a team to keep its under-18 players at the club.

Eagles’ secretary Margaret Perkins said there had been a bit of interest already, but they were still on the hunt for new players and a coach.

She said the club needed to set up a women’s side, so players coming through from the youth girls competitions had somewhere to play.

“We got about 11 players interested,” she said. “We’ve had under-18s for four years, and we need to give them elsewhere to go … players who are 16 to 17 have already been looking at clubs with senior teams now, so they didn’t have to move later on.”

Perkins said the Eagles have four girls in the Calder Cannons development team.

The Eagles are also looking at possibly fielding under-12 and under-15s teams, who would play in a new-look EDFL youth girls competition.

Essendon District and Western Region football leagues will have their own youth girls competitions next season after having a combined competition previously.

Turri said at least 20 clubs are interested in fielding junior teams next season, estimating each age group will have eight to 10 teams.

“We are very pleased to now have these new competitions fall under the banner for the EDFL,” Turri said.

Anyone wanting to get involved at Craigieburn, can contact Margaret on 0402 078188