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Saints set their sights on 2019 AFLW entry

May 9, 2017 4:51 PM

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We see an AFLW team as an enormous part our future and the future of female sport in our community - from Port Melbourne all the way to Portsea.

St Kilda Football Club CEO Matt Finnis has today reaffirmed the club’s resolve to join the AFL Women’s competition at the first available opportunity.

“The entire St Kilda Football Club family, from the board, staff, players and coaches, to our almost 40,000 members, are determined to see a St Kilda women’s team join the AFLW competition,” Finnis said.

“We see an AFLW team as an enormous part our future and the future of female sport in our community - from Port Melbourne all the way to Portsea.

“Having a St Kilda team competing in AFLW is vitally important to continuing the current huge growth we are seeing in women’s football in Bayside Melbourne, where the number of sporting options for boys and girls are many.

“One of the biggest obstacles facing all female sports is maintaining participation numbers as girls transition from junior competitions to senior levels. 

“Creating a clear, aspirational pathway from Auskick, to junior football, to an elite senior women’s team in Bayside Melbourne will be essential for the long-term future of female football in Victoria.

“When complete next year, our RSEA Park training and administration base at Moorabbin will provide a new home for the South Metro Junior Football League, which has 75 girls-only teams in 2017 (up from 33 last year).

“The new facility will also have the capacity to house a St Kilda women’s team and host AFLW matches.”

Finnis said the AFL’s decision to put off expanding the competition to the 2019 season was disappointing given the momentum currently surrounding the women’s game.

“As a club we are disappointed that our provisional licence has not been upgraded to a full license today with the AFL opting to hold off expansion until 2019,” he said.

“We are of the firm belief that the time was right to expand the competition immediately, and capitalise on the current interest and momentum in women’s football.

“While disappointed, we are encouraged by the AFL’s commitment to a timely expansion bid process that will be completed in the coming months.

“We are firmly of the belief that merits of a St Kilda team stand up when assessed alongside all clubs but are encouraged by the AFL’s acknowledgment that clubs with provisional licences will have priority.”

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