The Carlton Football Club is delighted to announce it has begun laying the foundations for a women’s AFL team, including global brands Hyundai and Visy to commit as the team’s major partners, in the event the club wins an inaugural licence.

The club is also perfectly positioned to immediately integrate a women’s team into its current football program with current tenants, the Melbourne Rebels set to soon depart Ikon Park, providing a fully operational elite gym, medical and change room facilities.

Carlton CEO Steven Trigg says the Club was in the fortunate position of locking in some key criteria prior to the official bid.

“We have a genuine appetite for women’s football, the growth and demand is certainly there, and we want our club to be leaders in these plans,” Trigg said.

“Hyundai and Visy are wonderful long term partners. Their preparedness to strongly and financially back the development of the women’s game – and Carlton’s bid – is fantastic. There is no doubt it will help us build a successful program.”

This announcement follows the Club’s recent appointment of eight-time Darebin premiership player Lauren Arnell as Carlton’s first Visy Female Football Ambassador.

Arnell says she is proud to be involved with a club making genuine progress in the development of a sustainable women’s team. 

We were thrilled to host more than 150 junior female footballers in a development program after training today. #BoundByBlue

A photo posted by Carlton Football Club (@carlton_fc) on Mar 29, 2016 at 11:33pm PDT

“I think the fact they’re (Carlton) certainly genuine about female football and they’ve also shown they’re genuine in developing me – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now,” Arnell said. 

“I’m feeling very fortunate that all the assistant coaches and Brendon Bolton are all very supportive, which is great because being part of a football club is all about the relationships you build and the friendships you make.

“If we put forward a strong bid, which we will, and are successful in obtaining a licence, we want to make sure we do this well.

“We’ve (Carlton) been allocated the Northern corridor to develop both women’s football, so we’re fortunate we’ve got some outstanding senior women’s clubs in this region, but we’ve also got some outstanding junior players coming through as well – it’s really exciting.”

Carlton will formally submit a bid to the AFL at the end of April.