All Australian Football League (AFL) clubs will have a team in the AFLW, the women’s top division in Australian rules football, at the start of the 2022-23 season after the league licensed it to Essendon, Hawthorn on Thursday , Port Adelaide and Sydney Swans.
AFL Managing Director Gillon McLachlan confirmed that the AFLW will be expanded to include an 18-team competition by the end of 2022, calling the change a « defining day » in the history of Australian football.
The women’s professional competition became Launched in 2017 with eight teams and expanded to 14 in 2020 to meet growing interest.
« Having 18 AFLW clubs means sending a message to every female soccer player that they can play for one of our 18 teams, » Australian media quoted McLachlan as saying.
« Simple, the competition is now complete. Today is quite a defining day, I think, in the history of Australian football. »
Port Adelaide and Sydney Swans had not previously applied for a license, while Essendon and Hawthorn had first submitted applications before approval for 2019.
The upcoming AFLW 2021-22 season will remain a competition with 14 teams, with the new teams have 16 months to prepare for their debut.
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