The inaugural women’s football competition which took flight in Crystal Brook last year is returning in 2019 with more teams, more players and a lot more interest.
The competition is set to start on Friday February 22 and this year will play host to eight senior teams and three junior teams, a large jump in numbers from the 2018 season.
The coordinator for the women’s footy, Jacinta Huxtable says they had such a successful year last year but they have decided to make it better.
“After the end of the season last year, we had a meeting with the umpires, players and coaches and we got some ideas back on what we should improve on”, she explained.
“This year we are aiming for a larger oval, still running two games at the same time but making them larger for the girls to play on. Some of them can kick very far.”
Joining the competition this year are two Port Pirie clubs, Port Football Club and the Solomontown Football Club. A team from Orroroo and the Southern Flinders Football Club have also jumped on board.
The numbers and interest is encouraging to organisers who say that last year they had women from all around the region registering their interest.
“Last year was fabulously successful, from having no women’s football in the region, to having four senior teams. We were getting players interested from Port Augusta, Wilmington, Peterborough, south of Clare. It is increasing, it should just improve year by year”, Jacinta said.
Last year, two teams including Law and Order and the Mid North were made up of a mix of players who had come from around the region and the organisation wants to encourage girls that they do not have to belong to a club to play.
“This year we do encourage people to sign up individually, you don’t have to be in a team and we can allocate you to a team”, Jacinta explained.
The competition is open to girls from the age of 14 and up, as the winter football season does allow girls under 14 to play with the boys.
With an increase to 120 players, the organisation have decided to extend their season, increase the number of players on the field in addition to increasing their volunteers.
Taking on the advice of the 2018 players, the organisation will be increasing the number of players on the field from nine to about 12, depending on weekly numbers.
The competition will also run for six weeks this year rather than four and in an extra round for the under 16 girls, the first game outside of Crystal Brook will be played at the Port Football club home ground.
The competition has blown the expectation of organisers and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) who have been in full support of the new Mid North venture.
“It has overtaken our expectations”, Jacinta said.
“We came into the unknown last year, not knowing what to expect. It overwhelmed us last year the amount of response that we got.”