Com­pe­ti­tion of­fers fe­male play­ers new op­por­tu­ni­ties

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph | Sport - Ai­den Boy­ham

Fe­male foot­ballers will get the chance to take the next step in their ca­reers this year, with the Peel Foot­ball and Net­ball League launch­ing its in­au­gu­ral se­nior women’s com­pe­ti­tion.

In a move tipped to be a huge step for­ward for play­ers across the area, the com­pe­ti­tion will pro­vide a play­ing route for women in Year 12 and above.

The league is field­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est.

Baldivis Foot­ball Club is plan­ning to join South Man­durah and Dwellingup in the women’s com­pe­ti­tion, with a num­ber of oth­ers, in­clud­ing Mundi­jong Cen­trals, also thought to be in­ter­ested.

Baldivis pres­i­dent Jamie McGil­livray, who started the club’s first youth girls’ team in 2016, said it was ex­cit­ing to be able to take part in a new com­pe­ti­tion.

“The re­sponse around the club for the two years of hav­ing the girls in place has been mag­nif­i­cent,” McGil­livray said.

“From 2016 to 2017, we grew from hav­ing one youth girls team to hav­ing two youth girls teams and a ju­nior girls team. Now, we’ve got girls play­ing right through from Year 4 to Year 12. We are hop­ing to have the same growth again in 2018 in­clud­ing with the ad­di­tion of a women’s team.”

The South West Foot­ball League al­ready has a women’s com­pe­ti­tion in place, with a num­ber of Peel­based play­ers of­ten trav­el­ling south for the op­por­tu­nity play.

PFNL gen­eral man­ager Ge­off Hiller said the new Peel-based com­pe­ti­tion would give lo­cal play­ers the chance to play closer to home, with the com­pe­ti­tion also of­fer­ing women who are not at a Peel Thun­der­birds level to con­tinue play­ing after Year 12.

De­pend­ing on num­bers, Hiller said the sea­son would be­gin in May, with a sea­son span­ning 14 rounds. Any women in­ter­ested in play­ing in the new com­pe­ti­tion are urged to con­tact their lo­cal foot­ball clubs.

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