AFL HCC Women on the Representative stage

The Women’s regional representative carnival is set to continue in 2019 following its’ fantastic debut last season.

The concept was developed when the AFLW winter competition was announced and all planned women’s league representative matches in 2018 were subsequently cancelled.

The 2018 carnival proved to be a hit and the AFLHCC had no hesitation in continuing the concept this year despite a women’s league representative match against South Coast also being on the calendar.

“AFL HCC are excited to offer two representative oppurtunities during the 2019 season for Women in our competition” Community Football Manager Sam Zikman noted.

Once again teams representing Central Coast, Newcastle and The Hunter will battle it out in a round robin format. Newcastle will be hoping to go back-to-back, though teams were very evenly matched last year.

Killarney Vale’s Peter Kelleher who co-coached the inaugural Central Coast regional women’s team was excited the concept would continue this year.

“League rep games only reward the top 25 players. The regional representative day gives 75 women a taste of rep football most of which would otherwise not receive the opportunity to play a higher level of football.”

“Last year the players particularly enjoyed the opportunity to train together before the carnival. Training and playing when surrounded by better players really helped improve their game when they went back to club football. Ultimately this can only serve to improve women’s footy in our region.”

The carnival will be held on April 22nd which is Easter Monday, Zikman added the background to this scheduling. “Generally we prefer to keep the Easter weekend free when it comes to local football. However, the match against the South Coast (Men’s and Women’s) is scheduled for May 18th and it’s logical to hold the regional carnival before this so in effect it acts as a selection trial. Provided the Easter Monday date is well recevied I can see this day becoming one of the biggest on the AFL HCC football calendar.”

“The upside is that all focus for the week leading up to the game will be on women’s footy as there will be no men’s or junior games running parallel.”

Last year a full men’s round was scheduled on the same day as the women’s carnival which meant the opportunity for all who would have liked to attend the game was limited. This year personnel including support staff, trainers, commentators and umpires will have their full complement available to help celebrate women’s football in our region.

Once again the day will be held at Ferodale Oval which is the home of Port Stephens AFL club. Port Stephens did a marvellous job hosting the carnival last year and it remains a nice touch that a women’s carnival is hosted by a senior club which was built upon and remains with only a women’s team.

There will be only two rounds of football before the carnival and thus clubs have already been asked to nominate coaches and players.

Women’s football in our region continues to develop at speeds no one could have imagined 5 years ago. This should be something all supporters of AFL should be very proud of indeed.

Stay tuned for Coaching announcements for all representative teams on Friday with the selection process for players to begin next week.

Written By Ryan Stanton