WAFL: West Perth’s women footballers ‘uninvited’ to Breckler Medal night

Picture: West Perth Womens Football Facebook page.
Picture: West Perth Womens Football Facebook page.

WEST Perth’s women footballers say they have been disinvited to the WAFL club’s best and fairest Breckler Medal presentation at Joondalup Arena.

Former East Perth player and 1983 Sandover medallist John Ironmonger’s daughter Abby said she and her team-mates had paid to attend the function as part of their registration fee at the start of the season.

“It is quite disappointing,” she told 6PR radio, before saying “we’ve been told” there would still be “a presentation for our three teams”.

“However I’m fairly sure it’s not going to be to the event size and niceties the boys are getting in their three-course meal, drinks black-tie event.

“It is quite disheartening. And it’s fine if West Perth doesn’t want to have a women’s team but I’d rather be told that so I can go somewhere else so I can get my football and progressions done so I can maybe play AFL.”

Falcons chief executive Linda Hamersley told 6PR because of the club’s voluntary administration it was unable to uphold the commitment to having the women at the same function.

The club no longer had the money from the women’s registration fee for the Breckler event – nor the money from the men.

She said 90 male players would attend the Breckler presentation with a plan to “sell another 150 (general admission) tickets that will help offset the loss (of money) to the club”.

The club’s function centre was not big enough to host both men and women players and accommodate a plan to offset the lost income. And to host a combined player function at an external venue – as happened last year and was likely planned for this year before she took the reins as CEO – would be too expensive.

Hamersley said she would meet a representative from the women next Wednesday to “workshop” an agreed date and type of function for the women. Like the men, the women would not have to pay again for a ticket and the club would try to offset the cost by charging for general admission tickets.

Asked if she could understand why the women “felt like second class citizens”, she said: “I certainly can… I can understand where the player group are coming from but we are trying to address it by having this meeting next Wednesday.”

Hamersley said she wanted women’s football at the club next season.

But whatever shape the women’s program took, it would have to be financially viable.

n The Breckler Medal is presented to the best and fairest player from the men’s league team.