Mary’s Wonder Women: Leaked memos and the cost of a competition

This article was first written for and published by The Roar.

At 7pm tonight, AFLW returns to Sydney when the Giants take on Carlton at Drummoyne Oval.

After last year’s scheduling debacle, which saw Greater Western Sydney play a game played at Blacktown International Sports Park at 5pm on a Friday night (who can get to Blacktown at 5pm on a Friday?), I welcome this time slot and hope to see plenty of people at the game.

There has been some criticism of the standard of play for AFLW this week, particularly following the allegedly ‘leaked’ memo which went to all the AFLW coaches earlier, asking them to rethink strategy to produce higher-scoring games.

Two areas were particularly highlighted: congestion around stoppages and defensive flooding.

My gut feel is that this memo was crafted following the opening game of the season between Carlton and Collingwood – a low-scoring affair that ended with Carlton victorious 3.4.22 to 2.2.14.

MEET YOUR NEW AFLW GIANTS: The locals

This article was written by Caitlin Arnold.

They call her ‘Squid’ because her arms – and legs – bare a lot of ink, but new GWS GIANTS recruit Phoebe Monahan will be looking to make a new name for herself during her debut AFL Women’s season in 2018.

As one of the six new GIANTS to come from playing in the New South Wales and ACT area, Monahan helps add alocal flavour to the team, joining another nine players from the region who continued on from the 2017 squad.

MEET YOUR NEW GIANTS: The code-hoppers

This article was written by Caitlin Arnold. 

One of many unique attributes of the AFL Women’s competition is the outstanding resolve and pressure it takes for some of the players to be dual-athletes.

A feat nowhere to be seen in the men’s league, playing more than one sport at a national level – sometimes even during the same time period – is currently a given for these women who have a pure love for what they do.

In the AFLW, 2017 Best and Fairest winner, Erin Phillips switched from playing basketball in the United States to join the Premiership winning Adelaide Crows, and only recently retired from her much-loved round ball game to concentrate on the one sport.

MEET YOUR NEW AFLW GIANTS: The interstaters

This article was written by Caitlin Arnold.

There are few stand-alone team colours in the AFL or AFLW, which instantly trigger thoughts of one specific team.

Yellow needs black, for instance, to conjure thoughts of Richmond. And red seeks white to ‘cheer cheer’ for the Sydney Swans. But there are a handful of famous hues that immediately take footy fans to one club, all on their own.

There is the famous Navy Blue, of course, which immediately brings one of the oldest footy clubs, Carlton, to mind. And most recently, orange, which provokes scenes of the sun setting over Spotless Stadium for the game’s newest club, the GWS GIANTS.

Rebecca Privitelli has now played for both the Blues, and as of the past weekend, officially for the GIANTS too.

Mary’s Wonder Women: Scorchers and Sixers to contest WBBL final

This article was first written for and published by The Roar.

On Sunday afternoon when the final of WBBL03 is played, it’ll be déjà vu for cricket fans, with the final being contested between the same two clubs as last year – the Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers.

To book their place in the final, the Perth Scorchers beat the Sydney Thunder by 27 runs, largely due to the efforts of Nicole Bolton, Ellyse Villani and Emma King.

Women’s sport weekly wrap: Hannah Mouncey’s ineligibility for the AFLW Draft

This article was first written for and published by The Roar.

There are some topics I am afraid to write about.

I am someone that is passionate about diversity and inclusion in sport. When I write about sport, I want to make sure that I am coming from an educated, considered and respectful position. Hurting the sports that I am passionate about or making someone feel like they were not welcome in the Australian sporting family is the last thing that I want to do.

Women’s sport weekly wrap: AFLW’s bold expansion plans

This story was first written for and published by The Roar.

And then there were 14 (well, not until 2020).

This week the AFL announced that the AFLW is about to get a whole lot bigger with a bold expansion plan which will see North Melbourne and Geelong join the eight existing clubs in the third season of the AFLW in 2019, with Richmond, West Coast, St Kilda and the Gold Coast set to follow in 2020.

What generated plenty of excitement though was that for the first time, Tasmania will have a team that it can adopt as its own through its joint bid with North Melbourne.

Women’s Sport Weekly Wrap: Victoria just too good

This story was first written for and published by The Roar.

In Week 1 of the NRL finals, two very special women will make history.

On Friday night, in the game between the Sydney Roosters and the Brisbane Broncos, Kasey Badger will become the first female to officiate an NRL finals game.

Not far behind her is Belinda Sleeman, who will run the touchline in the game between the Penrith Panthers and the Manly Sea Eagles.