By SANFL Media
The SANFL today launched the 2023 Hostplus SANFL Women’s League, with a blockbuster Round One set to kick off from this Friday night.
Norwood and reigning premiers North Adelaide will open season seven of SA’s premier women’s competition under lights at The Parade, with the remaining three round one matches to be played at various venues on Saturday.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler said the 2023 Hostplus SANFLW League was set to be one of the strongest, most intriguing yet.
“On the back of SA’s U18s AFL National Championship win in 2022 and the growing depth of youth talent in this State, there is an exciting crop of emerging stars, combined with mature age talent across all eight SANFL Clubs,” Mr Chandler said.
“In addition, there is a remarkable 29 AFLW-listed players from Port Adelaide and Adelaide poised to make appearances throughout the season, an indication of the League’s reputation as the premier State League competition.
“Having SANFLW clubs closely aligned to AFLW programs at both Port Adelaide and Adelaide ensures a strong connection to the elite level, giving our rising talent in the League a fantastic opportunity to play and train alongside some of these experienced AFLW players,” he said.
Mr Chandler said participation in women’s and girl’s football continued to rise significantly in South Australia over the past year, with female participation having doubled in five years. In 2022, 8,830 women and girls played competitive football at SA clubs, compared to approximately 4000 in 2017.
There were also close to 2,500 young female AFL Auskickers in South Australia last year, more than ever before.
Mr Chandler said pleasingly the number of females taking up umpiring was on the rise, with 57 female umpires already registered with SANFL this year, compared to 28 in season 2022.
Women undertaking coaching roles also had reached record numbers in 2022, with more than 260 female accredited coaches in SA last year – an increase of 40 per cent on 2021.
“Developing quality coaches who are role models is key to the growth of our game and creating a positive culture,” he said.
“We’re thrilled that as a result of a range of mentoring and development programs SANFL delivers, including a highly successful Female Coaching Academy, we are attracting more and more women into coaching at all levels each year.”
Officially launching the Hostplus SANFL Women’s League at Adelaide Oval today, Mr Chandler acknowledged the continuing support of its naming rights partner Hostplus which enabled SANFL to continue to grow female football across the State.
Hostplus Chief Executive Officer David Elia said:
“The Hostplus partnership with the SANFL Women’s League provides us with an important vehicle to grow our brand and demonstrate our commitment to, and connections with, the South Australian community, following on from our merger with Statewide Super.
“Importantly, as a platform, it also helps us to educate and advocate for enhanced retirement outcomes for women, and reduce the gender gap in superannuation.
“Women in sport face many challenges when it comes to opportunities for participation, recognition, and representation at the elite levels, and these challenges extend to women who work in and on the game, and into their lives after football.”
The 2023 Hostplus SANFL Women’s League season will again comprise a 12 round home-and-away fixture, before four teams contest a three-week Finals Series starting on the last weekend in May.
For the second year, the Hostplus SANFLW League Grand Final, to be played on Sunday June 11, will be broadcast live on Channel 7 and 7plus.
A number of SANFLW matches will be played alongside League men’s games, headlined by reigning premier North Adelaide unfurling its 2022 SANFLW premiership flag on Saturday, April 1.
Entry to all Hostplus SANFL Women’s League standalone minor round matches is free, while all matches will be streamed live and on-demand on SANFL Now. For more details and to subscribe visit sanflnow.com.au
Friday, February 17
Norwood v North Adelaide | Coopers Stadium | 7:30pm
Saturday, February 18
Central District v Woodville-West Torrens | X Convenience Oval | 12:00pm
West Adelaide v Glenelg | Hisense Stadium | 12:00pm
South Adelaide v Sturt | Flinders University Stadium | 6:00pm
All matches live streamed on SANFL Now – www.sanflnow.com.au