Bundy's Emma Zielke is Brisbane's captain.
Bundy's Emma Zielke is Brisbane's captain. Contributed

Let's expand and not shrink the AFL women's comp

OPINION: Six games for AFL women's next season? No, I definitely don't want to see that.

The Herald Sun revealed late last week that plans are in place to reduce the amount of games the women play despite increasing the amount of teams from eight to 10.

The 10 teams would be split into two conferences of five, according to the article, with each team playing each other once before semis and a final.

The plan would reduce games from eight to six.

Players have immediately come out against the proposed move saying it takes the competition backwards and a step away from making it at the same level as the men, which is what everyone wants.

I agree, the proposal makes the competition a joke.

Bundaberg's Brisbane Lions captain Emma Zielke replied with '100' to a post from fellow player Richelle Cranston who said she sacrifices everything to play so please don't make it go backwards.

Imagine what Zielke is feeling right now. She's recovering from a broken leg and preparing herself for the new season.

A season that could last less than two months with a handful of games.

What motivation does it give her, or to the countless of other women to play, after making so many sacrifices.

It's not much.

The AFL is missing out on a great opportunity to promote AFL women's and help the start of the men's season.

By expanding the competition to 11 games, play each other side once with semis and finals, you could put on double headers and promote the game simultaneously with the men.

The competition can run games before and after the men, playing to larger audiences and also attracting others to watch the game.

It would also allow the women to play on hallowed grounds like the GABBA, Adelaide Oval and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Imagine Daisy Pearce and Katie Brennan leading the sides into battle on a Thursday night in March before Richmond take on Carlton in the AFL season opener.

It would add a new horizon for the game.

It's time for the AFL to be bold and brave.

It has with adding more teams, now it needs to add more games.

Shane Jones



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