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AFLW format announced

Danielle Balales, Carlton Media  September 7, 2018 11:04 AM

A thank-you to our 2018 members On behalf of the Carlton Football Club, Brendon Bolton and Marc Murphy thank our 56,000-plus members for their unwavering support in 2018.

The format of the AFL Women’s competition will be reshaped in 2019, as the AFL announced it will introduce a new conference system.

With Geelong and North Melbourne set to join the league next year, the expanded 10-team competition will play two conferences of five teams. Teams will play four conference games and three cross-over games. 

Carlton will find out who will be in its conference when the fixture is released in October.

The 2019 season will commence in the first weekend in February and incorporate seven home-and-away matches and a two-week finals series. 

The two top teams in each conference will contest preliminary finals on the weekend of March 23 ­– 24. Teams that finish first in each conference will host. 

The NAB AFLW Grand Final will be played between the two preliminary-final-winning teams, with the Grand Final host determined by team with greatest number of wins in the home and away season and percentage, if needed.

The AFL Commission confirmed the recommendation to alter the competition format to conferences following the AFLW Competition meeting earlier this week.  

AFL Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said the AFLW will again evolve next year with the Geelong and North Melbourne joining the competition.  

“The AFLW Competition has evolved quickly and we will continue to progress our competition by being innovative and unique and we see conferences as a part of this,” Ms Livingstone said.

“Conferences will create competitions within the competition as our teams strive for a place in the finals.

“Season three sees two new teams join our competition, and we are excited to firstly provide more opportunity for women to play in the AFLW, and welcome the passionate supporter bases from North Melbourne, Tasmania and Geelong.”

Carlton’s GM of Women’s Football Nicole Graves welcomed the new format. 

“I believe this is a positive outcome given the parameters set around the length of the season and allows for future opportunities to expand the format,” Graves said.

“Conferences are a new concept within the Australian landscape, but they’ve clearly worked well overseas and I’m sure it will add another layer to the competition.

“Now that the format has been finalised we can continue to plan for next year and look forward to receiving our 2019 fixture in October.”