AFLW


#1

AFLW is great.

I really enjoy it and the coverage on Seven has been superb.

My son who’s 16 can’t stand it. He’s constantly criticising their ball skills and how slow they are.

And compared to the AFL he’s right.

And to hear the commentators carrying on tonight about attracting players from other sports (as AFLW always has) is further confirmation of how this league is not really about the ‘footy’.

But my son also reckons kids his age play better than these females.

And he suggests boys his age deserve to be on TV more than the women because :

  • the skills are better, marking cleaner, kicks more polished, longer and more accurate
  • the knowledge of the game is better, better game acumen
  • games are more high scoring, better to watch and are a much better display of footy.

He has a good argument.


#2

Up until Under-13s or so, pretty much every local footy club would have one or two female players in it, who would often show up many of the other kids on the field - not saying they are the best on the ground, but competitive.

Then, the systems we’ve had in place for years throw them out of the sport - you wouldn’t have a girls league to enter, they won’t let you play against the boys in most cases - so you were lost to footy.

AFLW is playing an extremely important role - it is elevating the women’s game to be seen as a viable career path, proving there to be a future in it. That has already had a huge impact on the participation rates, and in turn, starting to make it so that there’s something to move on to once they get too old to play against the boys.

There are converts from other sports, because that’s where elite female athletes turned when footy threw them out.

It will take time for the effects of the AFLW to filter back in to the AFLW, but it wouldn’t have happened the other way around - you can’t just say “in 10 years Women’s football will be a professional sport” and expect young girls to be invested in that.

Junior Boys footballers might be better in some ways - but Men’s football has existed attracting talented male players into the sport and creating the infrastructure around it to grow their skills, and the professional nature of the sport gives the elite players reason to stick at it, rather than switch codes in their teens.

The women playing AFLW now haven’t all had that chance - and it is part of the reason for some of the skill gaps in things like marking and ball control. However, for other parts of the game, they are just going to always be different, but that’s fine - and makes a unique game, one that is far more focused on defence.

As for why it’s on TV and junior football isn’t - people are watching. The AFL can’t make you turn on your TV, or make the thousands turning up to games go there. When thousands are turning up to watch your kid play junior footy, then by all means put it on TV.


#3

This is not really an argument. A lot of women’s sports teams play teenage males (football, cricket etc) because otherwise they can’t get quality games.

@Moe has nailed it.


#4

Unfortunately, the skills just aren’t there yet. There are some very good players in the game, but going forward more money will need to be invested into this sport. Sevens doing a great job supporting AFLW, but long term this won’t be sustainable if the game doesn’t impore.


#5

I think we all want to see better quality TV content. Clearly from a ‘quality’ point of view, AFLW is barely adequate.

When it comes to skills, ability and competitiveness, the AFLW seems to be somewhat over-rated and the ‘hype’ is mostly artificial.

And will they ever be? Young girls play footy as a bit of a social event. The boys take it seriously.

Footy fans watch the AFLW because they crave footy this time of year.

It would seem no coincidence that the WBBL wraps up prior to the AFLW. One wonders how these comps would go if televised head-to -head.

The AFLW is great for the game. And I’m glad Gill brought it forward a few years. But it’s not great quality. The addition of new teams has only diluted the product, not enhanced it. It’s been too much, too fast. And it probably doesn’t deserve the exposure, resources and column-inches it currently gets.


#6

I’m not sure why anyone would expect AFLW to be the same standard as the AFL. It’s a young league. As others have said, once it’s filled with players who have moved up through a more formalised system, it will catch up.

It’s like saying male Aussie rules players from 100 years ago would get flogged by a modern reserve grade team …


#7

Not sure anyone is saying that.

But there are some saying it’s not even U16 Boys Rep level.


#8

The biggest issue this year isn’t the scoring or the skill level, but the lopsided conference system. We’ve just had a full cross conference round with the teams in Confrerence A (North, Melbourne, Bulldogs, Adelaide, Fremantle) all winning over the Conference B teams. So far it looks as though 5 wins will be needed from the 7 games in A to make the top 2 (so far Fremantle who are giving their men’s team a lesson in scoring are top, North and Bulldogs are also unbeaten and play each other on Friday Night in Launceston), where in the other group it could be that a negative record (3-4) may even be enough to get in with the bottom 3 teams in that group (GWS, Carlton, Collingwood) all winless and at least 2 of them will likely remain so after next weekend (GWS play Carlton, Collingwood play Fremantle over at Freo Oval).


#9

The skill level has improved dramatically over the past three seasons - but it’s unfair to compare it to the men’s game.

I’ve noticed that it’s becoming a ‘different’ game to the mens - some of this is because there are some fundimental rule differences, but it’s also a product of the women being unable (at this stage?) to replicate some of the skills and ability of the men’s game. (That’s not a criticism)

We should start to see the impact of AFLW on the junior girls pathways very soon

A few of our women’s teams could give their male counterparts a run for their money at the moment

This is a really poor way to look at it - we need to support and grow womens sport (regardless of code) and this includes TV coverage (which is a massive risk especially for FTA, but the numbers are actually promising). If you don’t like the game, then don’t watch it.

This is a fair criticism - but no one realistically predicted the explosion in popularity which has driven the desire by the AFL clubs to want to join

:+1:t3:


#10

As a Geelong fan - I attended about 4 matches in the first AFLW season, but one of the biggest difficulties for me was that it just isn’t as enjoyable being a neutral fan, so I didn’t find myself going to any of the matches in the second season.

This season got me right back into it - as now there’s my team in there to support, the matches and whole competition, take on more meaning to me. I’m watching more of the other games of the round just because having my team in comp has me more invested.

I can imagine most people feel the same, hence such a push for expansion.

The NRLW is probably a good counter example - the 4 teams and not expanding from there for a while - and even then only likely going to 6 or 8 - is very much closer to being in line with where the talent is. But then it makes the whole competition feel like an afterthought. I saw a Broncos v Warriors match before the Storm v Sharks prelim final last year and it just felt like an exhibition match, rather than part of a genuine competition.