Women’s football league proposed

Gippsland women will be able to play senior football without having to leave the region if a proposal to create a local league is successful.

AFL Gippsland has called for expressions of interest from clubs interested in fielding a side in the proposed competition, which, depending on the response, could begin next season or in 2018.

Clubs have until the end of the month to declare whether they are interested in starting a women’s team.

AFL Gippsland football development manager Chelsea Caple said the concept had already received some support from clubs.

“We’ve already had some contact us and say they are interested,” she said.

“We just want to have a formal process here at AFL Gippsland so we can identify the clubs that need our support.

“We’re really pleased that female football is growing rapidly.”

AFL Gippsland already operates the 10-team Gippsland Youth Girls Football League, with teams split between an east and a west division.

The league caters to girls between the ages of xx and xx, but beyond that age they no longer have a local option.

The only senior football option is the Gippsland Galaxy football team, which plays its home games in Traralgon, but competes against Melbourne-based sides.

Galaxy is seeking promotion from division three in the Victorian Women’s Football League after recently capping off its undefeated season with a premiership win over Fitzroy.

Caple said a senior women’s league could provide a source of players for the Galaxy.

“We’d like to keep Galaxy as a representative side,” she said.

“We could have an arrangement where people play on a Sunday with their club side and then if they want to play at that higher level (they could also play) with Galaxy.”

Clubs interested in fielding a side in the proposed league or women interested in playing football should phone AFL Gippsland on 5134 8733.