The The price of AFLW season is now closed in 2023, with the league releasing the expected results less than 50 days before the opening game, with AFLPA boss Paul Marsh insisting there is “a lot of work to do”.
The season is due to start on Friday September 1, with 10 home and away matches scheduled, but no matches are scheduled in the group stage.
The 18 clubs are said to have pushed for a season of round 12, but they agreed on 10 to establish the growing competition, which starts at the weekend of the pre-finals.
Players’ union chief executive Paul Marsh said CBA negotiations were “continuing” with more work to be done to satisfy all stakeholders, including the interest and commitment of AFLW fans.
“The CBA negotiations between the AFLPA and the AFL are ongoing. Progress has been made in recent weeks, however, there is a lot of work to be done before it can be considered by the players,” Marsh said.
“It is with this goal in mind that the players’ leaders have signed off on the AFL to produce 10 home and away games by 2023. This agreement has formed part of our CBA negotiations with the AFL and comes with the AFL’s commitment to grow in AFLW games from 2024 and beyond.
“The players believe that the release of this game will give fans and clubs the confidence they need to deliver a successful and exciting 2023 AFLW season.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan released a statement thanking those who participated in the pursuit of the release of the game that highlighted the importance of the growth and length of the women’s league.
“While 18 clubs are working hard to meet the required dates, it was important that we work with the Players’ Association not to delay the game to reassure the players, clubs and fans,” said McLachlan.
“We thank the AFLPA, led by Paul and their representatives for their commitment and our focus now is to make 2023 the best season yet, as we work together on the continued growth of the competition, on more games, attendance and overall action.”
McLachlan revealed that the eighth season will still focus on “driving and watching” in the 10 races, which include the Indigenous and Pride tours.
“The AFL is very proud of the growth of women’s football over the past seven years and we will be committed to growing the competition steadily as we continue to invest heavily in the running of spectator sports this season,” he said.
The two biggest venues for the game are GMHBA Stadium (Geelong’s home) and Heritage Bank Stadium.
The opening match on Friday September 1 takes place between reigning champions Melbourne and Collingwood at Ikon Park.
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