AFLW 2019: It’s that time

Christmas and New Year have come and gone. We have survived a few hot days and there’s a few more on the way all across Australia. It’s still weird, after two years, to be preparing for the start of AFLW and the heatwaves at the same time.


The state leagues were interesting to follow last year, and for me, the Southern Saints were a revelation.  I got to as many games as I could, and as a member got an invite to the Best and Fairest at the newly built REAS Park at Moorabbin.


It was terrific to see the women enjoying each other’s company and being recognised for a fine year of footy in the first ever season of St Kilda having a VFLW team. I can’t remember if it was Matt Finnis as CEO or then President Peter Summers (both of who attended most of the women’s games) said that coach Peta Searle had advised them to contain their expectations.  This was a group of less experienced young footy players, many of whom had not played footy before and at least, not at this level.


The year was mixed, but for every game I saw, there were some stand out performances, and I was not surprised that in the end, six of the Southern Saints players were drafted into AFLW 2019.  With St Kilda now confirmed as having a team for the 2020 (along with others of course), I will watch another VFLW year with added interest. (And at least it’s in the winter!)


This brings us to AFLW 2019.  There is always controversy, like the conference system that means that although North Melbourne and Geelong join the league, there are less games being played. The opening game is down at Geelong, at GMHBA Stadium, and it’s on a Saturday night.  The wonderful tradition of an opening night Friday game has gone, for now at least, and two games are being played one after each other, in different states. This has led to me now planning to stay overnight in Geelong so I can go back to a place and watch Crows v Doggies at Norwood Oval after the opening game of Cats v Pies.


The fixture seems to be aimed at TV rather than fans getting to games, but we will see. There’s even a weekend where there are no Melbourne games at all (Round 3) and I already know I will be parked in front of the TV from Friday night, two games Saturday, and two on Sunday.


I have yet to purchase any copy of the team reviews and will be on the hunt for that this week.  In past years there were lift outs in the Herald Sun and Inside Footy. At minimum, the Footy Record for the first game will give me the information on the whos, whats and wheres.


I want to get to as many games as I can, see my Southern Saints girls shine, as well as those who originally came from my St Kilda Sharks, like Brittany Bonicci at Collingwood. I look forward to seeing who shines this year, who pops up and stars, how the game is played. Will Brisbane still be a contender? Can the Doggies back up to another Grand Final?  Will coaching changes help Carlton, along with the wonderful captain (and Shark) Brianna Davey who is back after a yearlong injury, and will both these help Carlton have a better year?  How will Geelong and North travel? And Freo? Will Erin Phillips still star a year on? GWS and Melbourne were so close to finishing in finals, how will they travel this year.


I will miss Daisy Pearce, as a player, and look forward to hearing her comments before the birth of her twins gives her other games to play. Stalwarts from some of the original teams have gone to Geelong and North.  How will they play? New kids, old faces. New stars. New feats that we will write and talk about.


I have decided I am going to ignore the chatter and enjoy this season as much as the heat and coverage will allow.  I have a primal need to sit back and watch the footy.  I want the surprise of it, the joy, the drama, the noise, the stories and the unknown.  Bring it on.


Footy is back.

AFLW starts this coming Saturday (Feb 2).

So it’s time to join our AFLW tipping comp – and you might as well join the AFL tipping comp while you’re at it. Further information HERE.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Hi Yvette

    Thanks for this update.

    I’m looking forward to seeing The Hoops run out this Saturday.

    While at it, I’d like to thank you for all the work you (and Kasey Symons) did in organising the coverage of women’s footy on the almanac site in 2018. And I’d like to acknowledge your personal financial contribution as well. Without your support The Women’s Footy Almanac 2018 would not have been printed – it would have been published as an e-book. A big thanks to Kasey for her dedication to getting the book published too.

    I am looking forward to reading the match reports from our writers again this season

    I think lots of AFLW fans are hanging out for some footy (despite the heat).


  2. Looking forward to the Cats playing too. It will give me some respite from having to watch the Hawks play in the VFLW. Yuk.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    G’day Yvette,

    Well done on your previous work for the Almanac in regards to AFLW. Have thoroughly enjoyed the coverage and the books.

    As previously mentioned to you at an Almanac lunch or two, I’d so love to be involved in writing about the AFLW. I’m absolutely thrilled Collingwood is playing a couple of games at beautiful Victoria Park. But being so involved in my cricket club, as well as a two hour drive to Melbourne, halts my involvement. I so wish the AFLW was played simultaneously with the AFL, when football should be played- April to September. Would love nothing more than to tie in our trips to Melbourne to see the Pies in the AFL, AFLW and VFL on the same trip.

    Keep up the great work, would love to one day watch a Collingwood v St Kilda AFLW game at Victoria Park or Moorabbin with you.

  4. Footy is back! Aint that the truth. For two months I take my Hawks cap off and on goes my Dees cap. Daisy won’t take the field but the Dees, who in the first two seasons have hinted and promised and almost given, are ready to roll. Sunday we play the Dockers out at Cranbourne (which is just a stones’s throw past Woop Woop) and if I’ve recovered from our daughter Maddy’s 21st I’ll be a starter. Looking forward to crossing paths through the season Yvette and all the other Almanacers out at the footy.


  5. Similarly, Rick, my Swans cap is replaced by my Lions one. This year might be a little difficult though, with my niece Anna Teague – with Melbourne last year – now playing for the Cats. All of my Melbourne-based family will be travelling down to Kardinia Park tomorrow night for what should be a great encounter. Pity I can’t be there.

    Go the women!

  6. John Butler says

    A season full of interest awaits, Yvette.

    So many developments through season 2, though you often struggled to hear about them over the usual culture wars crap that discovered AFLW last season. I expect more surprises this season as the rapid change continues.

    See you Saturday.

  7. Wow, a couple of cracking matches to start the season off, Yvette.
    It made for some great Saturday night viewing entertainment.

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