The Sturt Football Club has been awarded the final license for the 2018 SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League and the staff and players of the 116-year old club couldn’t be more excited.
Sturt, which won the men’s premiership in 2016, will join South Adelaide, Norwood, North Adelaide, Glenelg and West Adelaide in the expanded competition.
According to details provided to Girls Play Footy, the four original teams – Norwood, North Adelaide, Glenelg and West Adelaide – will be allowed to re-sign eight players from their 2017 lists.
The remainder of the players will be go into a pool to be allocated by the SANFL according to zones to the six clubs.
Michael Higgs, Sturt Football Club’s Centre of Excellence Manager, said that club would now hit the ground running and begin putting together their coaching and support teams.
“We’re confident that we’ll quickly get a team and support staff together,” Mr Higgs said, citing the work the club had done in putting together their submission as giving them a solid foundation to build from.
“There are plenty of good under-17 girls we’d like to put into the squad and plenty of good juniors coming through.”
Jason Kilic, Sturt Football Club President, said the club was excited about joining the competition.
“We understand the significance of this historical event for our club and are honoured to have secured a licence for the 2018 season,” he said.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Jenny Hurley, Sturt’s Patron for Women’s Football.
“Sturt supporters will look back on the day that their club evolved into a modern sporting Club, inclusive for the whole community.
“I am honoured to play a part in this momentous event as part of the club’s 116-year history.”
Sturt Football Club currently fields an under-14s and an under-17s team in local competitions. The addition of a women’s team in the SANFL Statewide Super Women’s League would bring the opportunities for girls and women within the club more in line with those offered to boys and men.
The six-team league, which will run alongside the AFLW competition, will increase to ten rounds in 2018, and feature a two-week final series.
SANFL General Manager Football Adam Kelly said the addition of Sturt and South Adelaide would enable more women to play football at the state level, cementing the pathways for players in South Australia to reach the AFLW.
Earlier this year, the Adelaide Crows won the inaugural AFLW premiership having drafted ten players from the SANFL competition, including the inaugural AFLW Rising Star, Ebony Marinoff.