Girls football high on the SEJ agenda


South East Juniors will conduct three girl’s competitions in 2018 including a 12-team Youth Girls fixture to be played over 14 rounds.

The competition structure, finalised today, will see the SEJ conduct competitions at the under-12 and 14 age levels with the Youth Girls competition to be under 18s.

The Youth Girls competition will consist of 12 teams from nine competing clubs, with Beaconsfield, Berwick and Fountain Gate in the enviable position of having two teams represent their clubs.

Teams from Cranbourne, Hampton Park, Narre North Foxes, Narre Warren, Noble Park and Pakenham round out the final composition of the Youth Girls fixture for 2018.

AFL South East Region General Manager John Anderson is very comfortable by the prospect of a 12-team competition played over 14 rounds.

“There were many options to consider, but we think the platform that this competition will provide will hold us in very good stead for the future,” Anderson said.    

“The growth of youth girls and women’s football is a top priority in the region and we look forward to the growth continuing.”

Aligning with the AFL Pathway, AFLSE had planned to run four competitions in 2018, in the under 12, 14, 16 and 18 age brackets.

Participation rates are high in the two lower aged competitions but not considered strong enough to run separate competitions at the under 16 and 18 level this season.

Anderson explained that sticking with the three-competition structure would help the region flourish in 2019. He said measures had been implemented to make sure the four competitions would go ahead next year.

“We have a new Football Development Manager in Stuart Clark who will engage in school programs that will link to junior clubs,” Anderson explained.

“Growth and participation is the main purpose of the role and we expect to see steady levels of growth, in both boys and girls football, over this and the coming years.”

The Youth Girls competition will feature two finals series, one from positions one to four and the other from five to eight.

The SEJ conducted competitions at under-12, 15 and 18 age brackets in 2017.