Mary’s Wonder Women: Where are the female AFLW coaches?

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

If the AFL started AFLW simply to give women the opportunity to play football at a professional level, then that purpose has been achieved. But what if it was about something more?

What if it was also about the AFL indicating to its fan-base that it was passionate about diversity and inclusion, and also demonstrating a commitment to adequate female pathways – for not only players, but also those who wanted to be administrators, coaches or involved more broadly in the physical aspect of preparing a team for game day?

Mary’s Wonder Women: Free Katie Brennan

This story was first written and published for The Roar

This weekend the second season of the AFLW will come to an end when the Western Bulldogs play the Brisbane Lions in the grand final on Saturday afternoon.

For the Western Bulldogs, with their win over the Melbourne Demons at the Whitten Oval last weekend they secured the minor premiership and a spot in their first ever AFLW grand final. It is also the first time a Victorian team has featured and is quite the turnaround from last year, where the Dogs finished with only two wins out of their seven matches.

Mary’s Wonder Women: A Giant game for GWS

This article was first written and published for The Roar

“There’s a big, big sound from the west of the town. It’s the sound of the mighty Giants” – and when it comes to AFLW, that big, big sound has never been louder.

Tonight could be one of the most significant nights in Giants history, when they play the Brisbane Lions at Blacktown International Sports Park in the last round of the season.

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.