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Decision on AFLW expansion delayed

Nathan Schmook  August 30, 2017 8:56 AM

The AFL Commission has delayed its final decision on which clubs are given new licences for the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s competition until after its September meeting.

Eight clubs – Essendon, Geelong, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Richmond and West Coast – applied for an AFLW licence to enter the competition in 2019, with at least two teams to be added.

After meeting on Tuesday to consider how the AFLW league would expand in 2019, the Commission requested more information from the AFL executive before making a final decision. 

"All the submissions were extremely professional and considered. The eight clubs should be proud of their work," AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said.

"We understand that every club that made a submission is passionately committed to having a team in the AFLW and wants an outcome as soon as possible.

"The 2019 expansion decision is a big investment in the future of the AFLW, and making the right decision for the clubs and the competition is an extremely important one for the growth of the women’s game – both at the elite and community level." 

An AFL sub-committee has been considering submissions from the eight hopeful clubs for the past four weeks, with the possibility the competition will expand by more than two clubs. 

The sub-committee has considered the requirement to develop talent below the elite level.

"Given the importance of the decision the Commission has directed the AFL executive to come back to the September meeting with additional information before they make a final decision for 2019," the AFL said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The AFL is looking at holding round one of the 2018 AFLW season during the final few days of the Australian Open tennis tournament (January 26-28).

This would enable the AFLW Grand Final to be held on the weekend between the end of the JLT Community Series and round one of the AFL competition.