VFL Women's

Last updated

VFL Women's
Current season, competition or edition:
Sports current event.svg 2021 VFL Women's season
VFL Women's Logo.jpg
Sport Australian rules football
Founded21 March 2016;5 years ago (2016-03-21)
Melbourne, Victoria
Inaugural season2016
Administrator AFL Victoria
No. of teams12
CountryAustralia
Most recent
champion(s)
Collingwood
Most titles Darebin (2 premierships)
TV partner(s) Seven Network
(grand final only)
Related
competitions
AFL Women's
Victorian Football League
SANFL Women's
WAFL Women's
Official website www.vfl.com.au/women

VFL Women's (VFLW) is the major state-level women's Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league initially comprised the six premier division clubs and the top four division 1 clubs from the now-defunct Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL), and has since evolved into what is also the second primary competition for AFL Women's (AFLW) clubs in Victoria. The league often runs concurrently with the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Contents

Following the 2017 season, the competition was reconfigured to affiliate teams more closely with AFL clubs. From 2021, nine of the ten Victorian AFL clubs will either field their own women's teams or have an affiliation of sorts with an existing club in the VFLW, with these teams making up nine of the twelve existing teams (the others being VFL-affiliated Port Melbourne and Williamstown, and independent club Darebin). The reigning premiers are Collingwood.

The competition was not held in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

History

AFL Victoria launched the VFL Women's competition on 21 March 2016, with its inaugural season featuring twelve doubleheaders with the Victorian Football League (VFL). [1] The league initially comprised the six Premier Division clubs (Darebin, Diamond Creek, Eastern Devils, Melbourne University, St Kilda Sharks and Western Spurs) and 2015's top four Division 1 clubs (Cranbourne, Geelong Magpies, Knox and Seaford) from the Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL). Melbourne University already had an existing partnership with Australian Football League (AFL) club North Melbourne. [2] Following the 2016 season, the Geelong Magpies were replaced with the AFL-aligned Geelong Cats, and Knox's license was purchased by Box Hill (renamed Hawthorn in 2018 to align with the AFL club).

Following the inaugural AFL Women's (AFLW) season in 2017, the league made further changes to the competition to affiliate clubs more directly with AFL clubs and the AFL Women's competition. Five other foundation clubs departed, leaving Darebin, Melbourne University and Western Spurs (renamed the Western Bulldogs in 2018 to align with the AFL club) as the only remaining foundation clubs. The departing clubs were replaced by the AFL-aligned Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond and Southern Saints, the VFL-aligned Casey and Williamstown, and the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL)-aligned Northern Territory; [3] Northern Territory aligned with Adelaide's AFLW team, giving Crows players an opportunity to play in the Victorian competition. [4]

In 2019, Greater Western Sydney's AFLW team played five invitational matches in Victoria against teams having a bye. [5] Following the 2019 season, AFL Northern Territory ended Northern Territory's involvement in the NEAFL and VFLW competitions, [6] and Williamstown aligned with Adelaide in Northern Territory's place. [7] Melbourne University's license was also taken over by North Melbourne, ending the clubs' ten-year partnership and allowing North Melbourne to field its own standalone team. [8] In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, AFL Victoria decided to cancel the 2020 VFL Women's season and instead hold a four-team Super Series in September to give 120 footballers the chance to push their case to be selected in the 2020 AFL Women's draft; [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] this was later cancelled as well due to the increase of restrictions around COVID-19 in Victoria. [14]

In 2021, Port Melbourne joined the league, replacing Richmond, which initially left the competition due to financial issues before entering into a formal alignment with the VFL club. [15] [16] The competition also shifted to a February commencement, running concurrently with the AFLW season and mirroring other second-tier leagues like the SANFL Women's and WAFL Women's. [15]

Clubs

Current clubs

ClubColoursMonikerHome venueMain affiliateSecondary affiliateEst.SeasonsPremierships
FirstTotalTotalMost recent
Carlton Carlton AFL icon.svg Blues Princes Park Carlton (AFL)1864201820
Casey AFL Melbourne Icon.jpg Demons Casey Fields Casey (VFL) Melbourne (AFL)1902201820
Collingwood Collingwood icon.svg Magpies Victoria Park Collingwood (AFL)18922018212019
Darebin Darebin VFLW icon.png FalconsBill Lawry OvalIndependent women's club19902016422017
Essendon EssendonDesign.svg Bombers The Hangar Essendon (AFL)1871201820
Geelong Cats AFL Geelong Icon.jpg CatsDeakin University Waurn Ponds Geelong (AFL)1859201730
Hawthorn AFL Hawthorn Icon.jpg Hawks Box Hill City Oval Hawthorn (AFL)19022017312018
North Melbourne AFL North Melbourne Icon.jpg Kangaroos Arden Street Oval North Melbourne (AFL)1869202100
Port Melbourne Hbchfl.png Borough North Port Oval Port Melbourne (VFL) Richmond (AFL)1874202100
Southern Saints AFL St Kilda Icon.jpg Saints Trevor Barker Oval St Kilda (AFL) Sandringham (VFL)1873201820
Western Bulldogs AFL Footscray Icon.jpg Bulldogs Whitten Oval Western Bulldogs (AFL)1877201640
Williamstown VFL Williamstown Icon.png Seagulls Williamstown Cricket Ground Williamstown (VFL) Adelaide (AFLW)1864201820

Former clubs

Honours

Darebin's 2017 premiership team Celebrations 3 VFLWGF17.jpg
Darebin's 2017 premiership team

Premiers

Lambert–Pearce Medal

See also

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References

  1. "VFL Women's fixture release". AFL Victoria . 21 March 2016.
  2. Pierik, Jon (11 October 2017). "Victorian stadium upgrade plan likely by end of year, says state government". The Age . Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  3. "Three clubs depart in revamped VFLW comp". afl.com.au. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  4. "Thunder rolls into VFL Women's in 2018". AFL Northern Territory . 9 November 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  5. Black, Sarah (20 December 2018). "Giants to play five VFLW games in 2019". womens.afl. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  6. McGowan, Marc (12 September 2019). "Thunder no more: AFLNT confirms no NEAFL and VFLW teams". afl.com.au. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  7. Black, Sarah (27 September 2019). "Crows align with VFLW club Williamstown". womens.afl. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  8. "Kangaroos hop into VFLW 2020". vfl.com.au. 1 November 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  9. "Future AFLW stars to showcase their talents in VFLW Super Series". womens.afl. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  10. Twomey, Callum (16 June 2020). "Who's in? Eight-team VFL season is on, start date revealed". afl.com.au. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  11. Cherny, Daniel (16 June 2020). "VFL revamped, VFLW season substituted with new series". The Age . Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  12. "VFL to return with eight clubs in August". SEN . 16 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  13. "VFL confirms eight-team competition for 2020 and a four-team VFLW set-up". foxports.com.au. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  14. Black, Sarah (4 August 2020). "Trade wrap: Eagles swoop on Dogs mid, Tigers add trio". womens.afl. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  15. 1 2 "Port Melbourne joins VFLW, competition start date locked in". AFL Women's. 29 October 2020.
  16. "Richmond form Port Melbourne alignment for 2021 VFLW season". Richmond FC. 27 October 2020.