Last night 12 Western Australian women were selected in the inaugural AFL National Women’s Draft to represent the Melbourne Football Club and the Western Bulldogs Football Club.
This ground breaking match will be the first time AFL clubs have competed in an AFL sanctioned women’s match; with the game to be held on Saturday June 29 ahead of the club’s women’s round meeting.
Showcasing the immense talent in Western Australia 9 women were drafted to the Demons and 2 to the Bulldogs. The third draft pick was Swan Districts midfielder Chelsea Randall, who will don the Melbourne colours.
Randall expressed her great honour in being selected to represent Melbourne in the first AFL Women’s match.
“This is truly a dream come true. I’m delighted to play for Melbourne, which is one of the most historic teams in football.
“I play the game because I’m passionate about football. Being able to play and compete at this level is incredible, and I hope this game is the start of a national competition that young women players can aspire to be part of.
“I can’t wait to get out on the MCG, in a Demons guernsey and play some footy.’
Michelle Cowan, the only woman assistant coach at a professional league level in Western Australia was selected to coach the Melbourne team. Cowan is the assistant coach with South Fremantle Football Club and believes this is a huge step forward in women’s footy.
“I’m so thrilled to be a part of this and the support from the AFL, Western Australian Football Commission and the state clubs to put women’s footy at a national level is incredible.
“The talent coming through women’s footy is outstanding. I’m really excited to see what the future holds - it won’t be long till we see a national competition.”
WA Football Commission’s Director Pathways and Competition, Grant Dorrington said the national draft is a result of the huge investment by the WAFC, the AFL and clubs into women’s football over the past 25 years.
“The national draft and upcoming match has been a long time coming. There will be a national women’s competition in the future and I expect to see a WA team participating that will be very strong and competitive.”
The National Women’s Draft attracted the cream of the crop from around Australia with over 320 nominations put forward and 50 players selected in total.
Players from Western Australia that will be representing the Demons or the Bulldogs:
Melbourne Football Club
- Chelsea Randall, Swan Districts (3)
- Kara Donellan, Swan Districts (5)
- Kirby Bentley, East Fremantle (7)
- Melissa Caulfield, East Fremantle (15)
- Kiara Bowers, Coastal Titans (19)
- Emma Swanson, Peel Thunderbirds (29)
- Brooke Whyte, Coastal Titans (31)
- Renee Forth, Coastal Titans (41)
- Stephanie Walding, East Fremantle (43)
Western Bulldogs Football Club
- Leah Mascall, Coastal Titans (24)
- Kira Phillips, Peel Thunderbirds (32)
- Kellie Marie Gibson, Swan Districts (48)
Best of luck to all players involved in this fantastic step forward in women's football.