Thornlie Football Club plots path to the top for female players

Collingwood’s Caitlyn Edwards with Thornlie Football Club’s Mick Fraser and Wayne Barrett. Picture: Marie Nirme
Collingwood’s Caitlyn Edwards with Thornlie Football Club’s Mick Fraser and Wayne Barrett. Picture: Marie Nirme

THORNLIE Football Club are excited to create a female football pathway with a prospective senior women’s team next year.

The club hopes it will be accepted into the Western Australian Women’s Football League’s (WAWFL) new amateur competition, expected to be launched next year.

They are already in talks with sponsors and potential coaches for next season and some players have expressed interest.

Senior football director Mick Fraser said a senior women’s team would offer a pathway for its junior girl’s teams to follow.

“For the past four years we’ve been producing all girls teams and we want to be able to transition them all the way through the juniors into the seniors team,” he said.

“It’s the amount of interest in women’s football is massive, just this year alone there’s been a 51.8 per cent increase in registrations for women’s football.

“There is massive, massive growth right across the board in the number of teams registered and the number of people playing competitively.”

Thornlie chairman of directors Wayne Barrett said the success of the AFLW competition showed how many women wanted to play football.

“Only so many girls can get a game in town at state level with the likes of Perth, South Fremantle and all those WAWFL clubs,” he said.

“When they get to 14 or 15 years of age, they’ve got nowhere else to go; we’re hoping we get enough girls playing footy so there will be an under 15-16 competition.”

Collingwood defender Caitlyn Edwards played all seven games of the inaugural AFLW season and grew up playing junior football for Thornlie’s boy’s sides.

She believed a women’s team would be a superb addition to the club and would encourage girls to continue playing after juniors finished.

“It’s awesome they’re trying to establish amateur clubs underneath the WAFL, it’s awesome to see that coming up, it will really lift the standard of women’s footy,” she said.

“Once I hit 15, I ended up playing in the women’s league and having to play full grown women so that was a massive jump and I know some parents get really scared about that.

“So nowadays, having these all female Auskick centres and under-12s and youth girls, it’s really creating a pathway.”

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