New Club on look out for new AFL Women’s players

On the back of outstanding growth in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley region, the Newcastle region will welcome a brand-new club in 2018, spearheaded by a new women’s team.

The Wallsend-West Newcastle Swans will join the Black Diamond senior competition next year, with Waratah Oval in Waratah set to house the new club.

An expansion of the local junior AFL Club, the Wallsend Swans, and in line with the region as part of the Sydney Swans Academy zone, Wallsend-West Newcastle will don the red and white.  The new club name will also recognise the now defunct club known as West Newcastle.

The new junior-senior club will also provide a direct pathway for girls and boys into senior club football.

To attract female newcomers to the club and game, Wallsend-West Newcastle Swans will host a ‘Come and Try’ event for female players of all skill levels at Waratah Oval No. 5 this Friday, December 15 from 5pm – 6.30pm. All women aged 18 and over are encouraged to attend – there is no AFL experience required to take part.

Following the selection of the first AFL Women’s player from the region into the GWS GIANTS AFLW squad, Pippa Smyth, AFL NSW/ACT Female Football Manager, Hannah Davis says she is hoping Smyth’s success can prove that players from any region can make the big time.

“Having Pippa Smyth on the big AFL Women’s stage will hopefully show locals that they can reach their sporting dreams from anywhere,” says Davis.

“Relatively new to the sport, one of Pippa’s major strengths is her pure enthusiasm to give things a go, and that’s exactly what the ‘Come and Try’ session is all about.”

AFL NSW/ACT announced at the end of November that female AFL participation in the New South Wales and ACT region had risen by 78% in the past year.

AFL NSW/ACT CEO, Sam Graham said that this increase in female participation was in large thanks to the success of the inaugural AFL Women’s season.

“Our growth in Club football is the highest of any state in Australia driven by skyrocketing participation in our Youth Girls and female competitions,” said Graham.

“It’s fantastic to now offer a complete pathway from NAB AFL Auskick right through to the elite AFLW competition for women.”

The Wallsend-West Newcastle Swans will also look to field senior men’s teams for the 2018 season.