Season 2018 will be a landmark one for the Peel Football and Netball League, with the organisation set to launch its first ever senior female football competition.
The league is currently taking expressions of interest from clubs looking to field a side, with the competition catering to aspiring female footballers attending year 12 or aged above.
The PFNL is expecting to field a minimum four sides in the opening year, but is hopeful at least six clubs will enter teams to provide strong competition.
Locally based football clubs outside of the current senior men’s competition will be welcome to field sides at the women’s level, and will be given a $1000 bonus to assist with startup costs.
It is understood both South Mandurah Football Club and Dwellingup Football Club have already shown strong interest in being among the league’s first ever female teams.
Peel Football and Netball League general manager Geoff Hiller said the league was ecstatic to be able to unveil its inaugural female competition.
“We as a board are really excited to be launching a women’s level – it will certainly open more doors for women looking to play country football in our region,” he said.
“We’ve had a junior girls league for a number of years now, so this senior league will allow women to keep playing footy and pursuing dreams of playing in state leagues or the AFL Women’s.
“It’s something that’s been in the works for a while now, and to know that it will commence in 2018 is something we’re thrilled about.”
The season will span across 14 rounds, with the opening fixture scheduled for Saturday, May 12.
Games will be played in between the men’s reserves and league games, spanning across four 15-minute quarters.
Teams will be allowed a maximum of 24 players, with an “even-up” rule in place for those who fall short on numbers.
Local players will be required to play two regular season matches to qualify for finals, while those with recent state league experience (i.e. Peel Thunderbirds players) will have to participate in at least four PFNL women’s matches to meet finals requirements.
“The rules and regulations have all been laid out to ensure the competition runs as smoothly and as fairly as possible, without putting any extra strain on our clubs,” Hiller said.
“Really, we’re just excited to see what this does for footy in the region.”
Women interested in playing football in 2018 are encouraged to contact their local clubs.