AFL boss Gillan McLachlan, player and NAB AFL Women's Academy Manager Aasta O'Connor & journalist Sam Lane discuss the AFLW.
The AFL had high hopes for the inaugural women’s football season but the runaway success of the new competition has far exceeded those expectations, according to League chief executive Gillon McLachlan.
Over 120,000 people have attended the first four rounds, just under a million on average have watched each one on TV, and state and community leagues have been inundated this year with women and girls wanting to play.
“It’s elite sport, normalised, and it’s fabulous!” McLachlan told a Press Club audience, thanking the media for the part they have played in the phonemonal success of the competition so far.
Sports journalist Sam Lane described the excitement of “covering something that has never occurred and people who have never been covered in this way,” and spoke passionately about the significance of the opportunities now opening up for women in football.
Western Bulldogs player and NAB AFL Women's Academy Manager Aasta O’Connor said the season had been a roller coaster ride, which despite recent team losses she's finding "amazing".
Like all AFLW players, O’Connor said, she's working on the adjustment from community to elite level football, which involves getting accustomed to attention from health professionals, and playing - as well as speaking - in front of crowds.
That process of adjustment is likely to get easier as the league, the audiences and the coverage continue to grow.