Women’s league season extended after first year hit

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Royals' Abby Duncan gets clear of North Albany's Nardia Humphries in season 1 of GSWFL.
Camera IconRoyals' Abby Duncan gets clear of North Albany's Nardia Humphries in season 1 of GSWFL. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

After the success of the inaugural Great Southern Women’s Football League competition, the upcoming season has been expanded by three rounds, while the grand final venue has also changed.

Albany, North Albany, Railways and Royals will compete in the second edition of the GSWFL, starting on March 8, and matches will be again played under lights on Friday nights.

Last season each team played each other once before semifinals and finals, but given the strong player numbers and crowds across each round, the 2019 season has been increased by three weeks.

Teams will play each other twice in home-and-away rounds before the semifinals and another switch has been the decision to hold this year’s grand final at Centennial Stadium.

The region’s premier facility will hold the GSWFL decider on Friday, May 10, after last year’s grand final was played in front of a packed house at Collingwood Park.

Tigerland will host the opening round of fixtures on March 8 and the following rounds will rotate between Collingwood Park and Centennial Stadium before the semifinals venture back to Tigerland on May 4.

As with last season, the GSWFL grand final will be followed by a GSFL men’s league fixture between the Sharks and Kangas.

Now under the banner of the Great Southern Football League, president Joe Burton predicted the second season would exceed expectations.

“Shelley McLennan is doing most of it along with new director Andrew McWhirter and we are assisting them,” Burton said.

“It was a huge success last year and I can’t see any reason why it won’t grow again. “I think an additional team, whether it’s Mt Barker or Denmark or those two combined, is only a matter of time.”

Burton also endorsed Centennial Stadium as the grand final venue, saying the GSFL preferred to use the premier facility for its main fixtures and events.

Last season the Kangas won the inaugural GSWFL premiership, beating Royals by five points.

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