Women's footy gains momentum at grassroots

After a resoundingly positive response from the football community the inaugural Women’s League for Northern Victoria is a confirmed starter for 2017.

Eight clubs have already registered their interest in entering a team with a number of other clubs having internal discussions to determine their way forward.

The eight clubs provisionally accepted into the competition are: Benalla Saints, Bendigo Thunder, Echuca, Kerang, Kyneton, Mooroopna, Northern Bendigo and Shepparton.

AFL Goulburn Murray Region General Manager Martin Gleeson is excited by the response received.

"The feedback and enthusiasm coming from clubs has been fantastic about the concept and the introduction of the competition" he said.

"The plan was to create a sustainable League locally so that women did not have to travel to Melbourne every second week to play and to grow immediately from two teams last year to eight has exceeded our initial expectations."

"The accepted clubs have been requested to provide a preliminary player list by 1 March to confirm their place in the League for this season and after that the competition will be finalised and a fixture prepared."

"The competition will be managed from the AFL Goulburn Murray office with a Committee of Management representing the Goulburn Murray, Central Victoria and Central Murray Commissions being put in place to provide the competition’s governance and direction."

"It is not too late for other teams to enter the competition but they will need to register their interest and be able to provide a preliminary player list by 1 March."

AFL Central Victoria Football Development Manager Tony McNamara credits progressive thinking as a key catalyst to the competition’s immediate acceptance.

"Eight teams at this point is a great outcome and further demonstrates the massive growth in opportunities for women to play football."

"No doubt the success of the AFLW has greatly helped and along with our Womens League coming to life the number of Youth Girls players is also growing."

"There is a real energy around the competition and it is an exciting time as we continue to put everything in place over the next few weeks and the season will commence at the end of April or early May."