AS one chapter closes for the Claremont Women’s Football Club, another will open in 2017.
The club, previously known as the Innaloo Piranhas, was one of four original teams to form part of the WA Women’s Football League in 1986.
Despite aligning with the Claremont Football Club (CFC) in 2006, next year the women will say goodbye to their beloved piranha logo and adopt the “tiger” emblem as part of a new strategic direction.
Club president Eleanor Grinceri said although the club was proud of its history, the move was an important one for its next phase.
“We are the only club to have retained its original logo of the piranha and we are very proud of our history,” she said.
“However, with all great ventures change is inevitable.
“As of 2017 we will be replacing our much loved piranha and adopting the emblem of the tiger and the same jumper design as the men.
“This will see us transform from a community club to a professionaly run and managed body.”
With the introduction of the Australian Football League Women’s debut season starting next year, Grinceri said she believed the introduction of the league was a huge step forward for the AFL to recognise the women’s association with the game.
It had also spurred a massive interest with young girls wanting to play the sport, something the club took pride in.
“Suddenly women can be recognised for their efforts with the potential to become a professional AFL player,” she said.
“In the Claremont District there is a complete pathway for female players from juniors to seniors.
“We coach Year 4 girls who have their eyes set on playing for the Dockers.
“As of last year, that wasn’t an option for an aspiring footballer.
“Our anecdotal experience is replicated in national figures which rate AFL as the fasted growing female sport.”
The club currently manages two senior teams and one youth girls team, all of which have seen success with the g taking part in the final series for the past three years and winning the first flag, while the last senior victory was last year.
To continue its success the club is now looking for sponsors and supporters to help take it to the next level,” Grinceri said.
“With the establishment of the national competition it is integral that we take the next steps in aligning with Claremont Football Club.
“For now the symbolic change to the Tiger’s and a renewed Memorandum of Understanding with CFC will provide a platform to begin a stepped transition.
“Essentially the women’s teams in the state are expected to produce national league quality players on a community club budget/ organisational structure.
“We will become one of the nine feeder clubs into the national league, which is why it is essential we become professional and competitive.”
Grinceri said the construction of Claremont Oval added to their financial strain, having had to operate out of Claremont Showground for the past three years, making it harder to invest in the players or coaching, branding, jumpers and equipment.
For more information, email committee member Lou Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org.