Victorian Women's Football League

Last updated

Victorian Women's Football League
Most recent season or competition:
2016 VWFL season
Victorian Women's Football League logo.jpg
Sport Women's Australian rules football
Inaugural season1981
Replaced by VFL Women's
No. of teams31
Country Australia
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia
Most recent
champion(s)
Deer Park Lions (2016)
Most titlesScorpions (11)
TV partner(s) C31
Official website Victorian Women's Football League
The rucks reach for the ball after the umpire (in orange) has balled it up. Taken at the 2005 VWFL Division 1 Grand Final - Melbourne University MUGARS (black and blue) def. Darebin Falcons. Australian Rules ruck tap.JPG
The rucks reach for the ball after the umpire (in orange) has balled it up. Taken at the 2005 VWFL Division 1 Grand Final - Melbourne University MUGARS (black and blue) def. Darebin Falcons.
Melbourne University player jostles for best position in a marking contest. Women's marking contest mark.jpg
Melbourne University player jostles for best position in a marking contest.
Darebin Falcons Player is wrapped up in a gang tackle by two Melbourne University opponents in the 2006 WVFL senior women's Grand Final. The field umpire (in orange) is about to signal "holding the ball" to penalise Darebin and award Melbourne University a free kick. Women's tackle.jpg
Darebin Falcons Player is wrapped up in a gang tackle by two Melbourne University opponents in the 2006 WVFL senior women's Grand Final. The field umpire (in orange) is about to signal "holding the ball" to penalise Darebin and award Melbourne University a free kick.

The Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL) was the oldest and largest Australian rules football league for women in the world, consisting of 47 clubs from Victoria, Australia, across seven divisions and a total of over 1,000 players. [1]

Contents

The VWFL complied with the laws of Australian football. The official ball, a Sherrin, used by the VWFL, was a custom-made size 4.5 ball.

History

The Victorian Women's Football League was formed in 1981 with four teams competing at open level.

In 1995, Sal Rees caused controversy when she nominated for the 1995 AFL Draft: the nomination was subsequently voided, with the AFL amending its Draft rules to prevent any repeat of this incident.

The VWFL grew quickly, increasing dramatically the number of players and participating teams with a Division 3 added in 2001.

In 2002 VWFL player Debbie Lee made headlines for pushing to play against men in the made-for-television team the Hammerheads. She has commented, "My whole idea with the Hammerheads was to promote women's football. At no point in time did I really think I was going to play against the men, and frankly it wouldn't really have been smart for me to do that. My whole idea was to cause a bit of activity."

An U17 Youth Girls Competition was established by Football Victoria in 2004, primarily to provide a pathway to the VWFL. This was following legal action having been taken against them in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (following a complaint to the Equal Opportunity Commission) by junior players Penny Cula-Reid, Emily Stayner, and Helen Taylor.

In May 2004, the first VWFL game was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with the Melbourne Uni MUGARS defeating St Albans SPURS on Mother's Day. A second game was played at the MCG later in the same year featuring Melbourne Uni MUGARS against the St Kilda SHARKS reserves teams.

In 2005, the VWFL celebrated its 25th season, and created a reserves competition for Division 1.

In 2006, the league posted a $6000 loss, however this was turned around in 2007 with a $19000 profit being posted at the end of 2007. 2007 saw five divisions (Premier seniors & reserves, North West, South East & Country) and 27 teams (from 20 clubs), and culminated in an Australian crowd record for women's Australian rules football at the 2007 Grand Final held on 19 August at the Preston City Oval in Melbourne. Two finals matches were also held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first time.

The work done by the VWFL Media Manager Leesa Catto was instrumental in increasing media coverage across the competition. A significant partnership was negotiated with the Leader News group and weekly coverage was captured across the Melbourne Metropolitan area. Events like the participation of two VWFL players Shannon McFerran and Daisy Pearce in the E. J. Whitten Legends Game also helped lift the profile of the league. [2]

The VWFL integrated into AFL Victoria in 2013. [1]

At the end of the 2016 season, it was announced the VWFL would be dissolved, with the forty-seven clubs and sixty teams of the VFLW would joining ten Victorian community leagues in 2017, along with additional clubs and teams from a further eighty clubs that had expressed interest in joining women's Australian football competitions. [3] [4] AFL Victoria would retain management of the ten-team VFL Women's league, with the remainder of the expected 150 teams to play in regional leagues. [5] [1]

Media coverage

In 2010 VWFL media coverage was captured across a range of mediums including;

Print
Herald Sun , The Age , Leader, Star News and Fairfax Community Network
TV
Channel 31
Radio
774 ABC Melbourne, 3AW, SEN 1116

Clubs

Premier Division

ClubNicknameLocationCoachCaptain
Cranbourne WFCEagles Cranbourne, Victoria Kris SmithAshleigh Fennell
Darebin Women's Sports Club Falcons Preston, Victoria Jane Lange Daisy Pearce
Diamond Creek WFCCreekers Plenty, Victoria Tanya Hetherington Steph Chiocci
Eastern WFCDevils Mulgrave, Victoria Brendan MajorJess Foster and Meg Hutchins
GeelongMagpies Geelong, Victoria Steve JannsenShannon Knox and Jaime Woollett
KnoxFalcons Wantirna, Victoria Clint Martin Melissa Kuys
Melbourne University Mugars Parkville, Victoria Andrew JagoAlicia Eva, Ellie Blackburn, Elyce Hay, Emma Kearney, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Madeline Keryk and Catherine O'Bryan
SeafordTigerettes Seaford, Victoria Brett AlexanderKim Ebb and Jessica Boyd
St Kilda WFCSharks St Kilda, Victoria Shaun SmithPenny Cula-Reid
VU WesternSpurs St Albans, Victoria Matt RussellBree White

Division 1

Division 2

Division 3

Division 4

East Division

West Division

Facts and figures

Division One/Premier Division

YearPremiersHelen Lambert Medal
(Best & Fairest)
Rohenna Young Medal
(Leading Goal Kicker)
Lisa Hardeman Medal
(Best on Ground in Grand Final)
2016Deer Park Emma Grant (Bendigo) Bella Ayre 34 (Bendigo)Brooke McKinley (Deer Park)
2015Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Moana Hope 68 (St Kilda) [6] Darcy Vescio (Darebin) [7]
2014DarebinDaisy Pearce (Darebin)Moana Hope 87 (St Kilda) [6] Daisy Pearce (Darebin) [8]
2013DarebinDaisy Pearce (Darebin)Stephanie Brown 25 (Berwick) [9] [10] Melissa Hickey (Darebin) [11]
2012Diamond Creek Lou Wotton (East Burwood)Amy Catterall 39 (VU St Albans) [12] Kirsty Lamb (Diamond Creek) [13]
2011VU St AlbansDaisy Pearce (Darebin) Sarah D'Arcy 51 (East Burwood) Karen Paxman (VU St Albans) [14]
2010DarebinDaisy Pearce (Darebin) &
Lou Wotton (East Burwood)
Jane Lange 52 (Darebin) Aasta O'Connor (Darebin) [15]
2009DarebinDaisy Pearce (Darebin)Brittany Grech 58 (Diamond Creek) Sarah Hammond (Darebin) [16]
2008Darebin Cecilia McIntosh (Melbourne Uni)Moana Hope 63 (Darebin)Moana Hope (Darebin) [17]
2007Darebin Shannon McFerran (St Albans)Moana Hope 67 (Darebin)Roi Boutsikakis (Darebin) [18]
2006DarebinShannon McFerran (St Albans)Moana Hope 74 (Darebin)Kathy Zacharopolous (Darebin) [19]
2005Melbourne UniversityShannon McFerran (St Albans)Rebecca Jennings 45 (Melbourne Uni)Daisy Pearce (Darebin) [20]
2004St Albans Meg Hutchins (Deakin Uni)Rohenna Young 65 (St Albans) Debbie Lee (St Albans)
2003Melbourne UniversityShannon McFerran (St Albans)Nic Lalor 33 (Deakin Uni)
2002Melbourne UniversityShannon McFerran (St Albans)Anita Rhook (Parkside)
2001Parkside MagpiesDebbie Lee (St Albans)Dee Dundov (St Albans)Rohenna Young (Parkside)
2000Parkside MagpiesSharon Bonnici (St Kilda City Sharks)Nic Lalor (St Kilda City Sharks)
1999St KildaSharon Bonnici (St Kilda City Sharks)Nic Lalor (St Kilda City Sharks)
1998St KildaSharon Bonnici (St Kilda City Sharks)Nic Lalor (St Kilda City Sharks)
1997Albion CatsBronwyn Hutchinson (Fairfield)Nic Lalor (St Kilda Sharks)
1996FairfieldDebbie Lee (St Albans)Debbie Lee (St Albans)
1995Ballarat LionsDebbie Lee (St Albans)Yasmin Horsham (Ballarat Lions)
1994Northcote Park ScorpionsDebbie Lee (St Albans) &
Doreen de Pasquale (St Kilda City)
Bronwyn Hutchinson (Ballarat Lions)
1993East Brunswick ScorpionsDebbie Lee (St Albans)
1992Ballarat LionsKris Gardiner (Fairfield)
1991East Brunswick ScorpionsBronwyn Hutchinson (Ballarat)Debbie Lee (East Brunswick)
1990Ballarat EaglesRhonda Rumler (Ballarat)
1989Parkville ScorpionsLisa Hardeman (Parkville)
1988Parkville ScorpionsDoreen de Pasquale (Ballart) &
Bernie Marantelli (Parkville)
1987Parkville ScorpionsBernie Marantelli (Parkville)
1986Gladstone ParkTracey Winch (Ferntree Gully)
1985Aberfeldie ScorpionsSiobhan Taylor (Gladstone Park)
1984Aberfeldie ScorpionsMaree Cave (Broadmeadows)
1983Dingley CobrasMaree Cave (Broadmeadows)
1982Broadmeadows Scorpions
1981Broadmeadows Scorpions

Source: [21] [22]

Premier Reserves

YearPremiersFraser Griffiths MedalLeading Goal KickerBest on Ground in Grand Final
2012VU-St AlbansRachael Gullo (VU-St Albans)Lauren Chalkey 19 (Berwick)Rachael Gullo (VU-St Albans)
2011DarebinNatasha Hardy (Sunbry)Melissa Beadles 24 (East Burwood)Gemma Anderson (Darebin)
2010DarebinBelinda Bowey (St Kilda)Rebecca Hickmont 31 (Darebin)Laura Cartledge (East Burwood)
2009DarebinRebecca Hickmont (Darebin)
2008East BurwoodKristy Baeffel (St Kilda)
2007DarebinLuisa Callegari (Darebin)
2006St KildaJessica Williams (Melbourne Uni)Ivanna Hern (St Kilda)
2005Melbourne UniversityJessica Williams (Melbourne Uni)

Premiers: North West Conference

2012 Bendigo
2011 La Trobe Uni
2010 Sunbury Lions
2009 Sunbury Lions
2008 Heidelberg Tigers
2007 Hadfield Hawks
2006 Diamond Creek Demons

Premiers: South East Conference

2012 Hallam Hawks
2011 Hallam Hawks
2010 South Mornington Tigerettes
2009 Scoresby Magpies
2008 Scoresby Magpies
2007 Yarra Valley Cougars
2007 Eastern Lions
2006 Berwick Wickers

Premiers: Country Conference

2007 Melton Centrals
2006 Geelong Cheetahz

Premiers: Division Two

2005 Lalor Bloods
2004 St Kilda Sharks
2003 Melbourne University Mugars
2002 East Geelong Eagles
2001 Hadfield Hawks
2000 North Heidelberg Bulldogs
1997 St Kilda Sharks

Premiers: Division Three

2006 Yarra Valley Cougars
2005 Yarra Valley Cougars
2005 Diamond Creek Demons
2004 Berwick Wickers
2003 Surrey Park Panthers
2002 Mordialloc Redbacks
2001 Ferntree Gully Kangaroos

VWFL Life Members

2009 Leesa Catto
2009 Bron McGorlick
2008 Kerryn Stephen
2006 Chyloe Kurdas
2005 Di Smith
2004 Belinda Bowey
2003 Sally Rees, Rohenna Young
2002 Debbie Lee, Kerry Saunders
2001 Nicole Graves
2000 Lisa Hardeman (Who the premier div best on ground medal is named after)
1999 Ann Rulton (who the Volunteer Award is named after)
1998 Julie Allen
1997 Dianne Vaux
1996 Bernadette Marantelli
1995 Coral White
1990 Jan Wilson, Janet Graham
1983 Helen Lambert (who the Premier div Best and Fairest is named after - she is also the founding President of the League)

250 Games (as at end of 2011)

Debbie Lee (East Brunswick Scorpions/Sunshine YCW/VU-St Albans Spurs)
Kerry Saunders (Darebin Falcons/St Kilda City)
Belinda Bowey (St Kilda Sharks/Keysborough)

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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