AFTER a successful debut season the Gippsland Youth Girls League is set to return this year, bolstered by the inclusion of a new team and structure supported by AFL Gippsland.
Warragul, Morwell, Bairnsdale and the newly formed Maffra youth girls teams will play a 12 week season with six home games each, beginning this Sunday.
The new season follows on from the success of Gippsland Power’s first girls side at the AFL Victoria V-Line Cup.
The team triumphed over previously undefeated outfits to earn a place in the grand final, where it went down by one point in a mudbath.
Many of the side’s number will now play for their local teams in the GYGL, bringing a host of new skills with them.
The GYGL, which was established by AFL Victoria, will now be administered by the AFL Gippsland Regional Administration Centre with the ongoing support of AFL Victoria.
AFL Gippsland regional general manager Travis Switzer said the new structure meant more resources could be invested into girls football in Gippsland.
“AFL Gippsland is excited to be involved in the competition for the first time and we believe that there is a lot of opportunity to continue to grow and improve the GYGL,” he said.
“AFL Victoria has done a fantastic job in establishing the league and through their funding and support AFL Gippsland now has more resources available to support the GYGL.”
AFL Gippsland Commission chair Angus Hume said that the opportunity for young girls to have the choice to participate in football in Gippsland demonstrated AFL Gippsland’s future strategy about creating playing opportunities for all.
“To have the representatives from V-line Cup playing in the Gippsland League, as well as Maffra entering a new team, shows that girls footy is expanding,” he said.
“We encourage football fans in Gippsland to support the girls at local games.”
Any girls aged 13-18 who are interested in playing should contact their local club.
The league begins on Sunday with Maffra and Warragul hosting Morwell and Bairnsdale respectively.