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Saints' AFLW start official

St Kilda's entry into the AFL Women’s competition was rubber stamped yesterday. - St Kilda Saints,AFLW
St Kilda's entry into the AFL Women’s competition was rubber stamped yesterday.

St Kilda’s entry into the AFL Women’s competition was rubber stamped yesterday.

The Saints will enter the competition alongside Richmond, West Coast and the Gold Coast Suns, making the 2020 AFLW season a 14-team competition.

Led by coaching pioneer Peta Searle, St Kilda’s first ever women’s team took the field in the VFL Women’s competition in 2018.

READ: VFLW fixture released

The Southern Saints were one of the biggest surprise packets, finishing with five wins, including victory over one of the eventual finalists in the NT Thunder.

Under the tutelage of Searle, the first woman to be an AFL assistant coach, seven Saints were drafted onto AFLW lists.

Ruckman Rhiannon Watt and explosive midfielders Alison Drennan were the standouts, named joint inaugural winners of the Best and Fairest, and selected in VFLW Team of the Year.

 

The pre-season signing of iconic Australian brand Reflex was another significant milestone, with the five-year partnership essential to the Saints securing an official start in AFLW.

The support of Reflex provided an immediate impact on the VFL Women’s team but also allowed the club to build towards 2020.

The Saints push in women’s football received a significant boost with the Andrews Labor Government agreeing to fund a $13 Million second stage of the redevelopment at RSEA Park.

Work had already begun on Stage 2, with the majority of the funding will be used to add women’s dedicated facilities, and the building of a 1000-seat grandstand.

READ: Southern Saints dominate draft

The extra additions will also enable RSEA Park to meet broadcast standards and see the return of top-level football to Moorabbin, potentially as early as 2020.

The Saints’ journey to AFLW will again continue in the VFL Women’s next year with a number of players tipped to earn their spot on the club’s inaugural AFLW list at the end of the season.

Plans are also in place to recruit established stars and bring home the players drafted from the Southern Saints this year.

Stay tuned to Saints.com.au to stay up to date with all the news and for opportunities to support the team.