The Southern Football Netball League are set to launch a women’s football competition as early as next season.
The SFNL recently established a female football working party that is focused on driving a female football strategy and plan, with a view to establish a six-team SFNL women’s competition in 2017.
The working party recently held their inaugural meeting and confirmed their objectives for the upcoming twelve months. The group are focused on identifying and recruiting a minimum of six clubs to participate in an inaugural SFNL women’s competition from 2017, while driving a cultural change process and awareness of women’s participation in football.
As part of the League’s commitment to female football, a Project Officer has been appointed in ex-Sandown Cobras Football Netball Club General Manager Brett Phillips.
Brett’s role as Female Football Project Officer is to be a leader in the football community, to create a positive learning environment and facilitate an increase in women’s football participation. Brett brings a wealth of club development experience and will be a significant resource engaging SFNL clubs in the recruitment and retention of female footballers.
The main function of the Project Officer is to work with the SFNL, Female Football Working Party and its Member Clubs to establish a women’s football competition in 2017.
The SFNL’s female football ambition is directly supportive of the Australian Football League, which will implement a national women’s league (NWL) in 2017. The AFL’s purpose in establishing a NWL is to help drive grassroots football participation, and the AFL and AFL Victoria are committed to working with leagues and clubs to ensure that all female participation pathways are provided across all of Victoria to extend the players’ career lifespan.
In 2016, AFL Victoria manage a four-division women’s community competition (VWFL) and implemented a ten team VFL State Women’s League competition. It is AFL Victoria’s long term aim to have all female community competitions managed locally by community football leagues, and will provide support to Leagues wishing to establish their own competitions.
The SFNL is committed to establishing its own women’s community competition and have engaged AFL Victoria to help guide the process.
League Chief Executive Officer David Cannizzo is pleased to share the SFNL’s Females in Football vision.
“The SFNL will be the champions of open age female football in the south and south-eastern region of metropolitan Melbourne,” Cannizzo said.
“Through the delivery of a culture change process, the SFNL will lead a contemporary and innovative female football competition, encouraging and facilitating female participation as players and club leaders in a sporting environment that is inclusive and accessible for all.
“The SFNL will establish and maintain a quality talent pathway to identify, attract and develop female footballers, while working with key government agencies and other stakeholders to secure the best inclusive facilities available.”