AFLW Round 1 – Carlton v Collingwood: Walking into History

Ikon Park

Carlton,  Melbourne

Lyn Campbell-Anderson

Attendance:  24,500


With trepidation I walk towards Ikon Stadium for two reasons – I am entering the Carlton lair, arch nemesis of Collingwood and tonight I am witnessing the dawn of gender inclusivity within sport, the NAB AFL Women’s Competition to be specific!

My first thought is – where are all my fellow Collingwood supporters?  A flurry of black and white  catches my eye as I weave my way through the growing crowds.  A dedicated flock of Pies hug the western fence waiting patiently for the roving TV reporter and his cameraman to give the signal we are live to air.  At last the thumbs up from the cameraman – pounding the fence, flags  aloft, Collingwood marks its territory.

Walking back to my seat with Chisel’s “Breakfast at Sweethearts” booming across the stands I encounter a pocket of Pies fans nested amongst a sea of Blues supporters.  Robbie asked Anna to marry him last Valentine’s Day with the blessing of his grandmother Lucy, a staunch Blues supporter. Tonight matters of the heart and club differences are put aside to step out and celebrate this remarkable event together.

‘Hope’ supporters abound, sporting replicator number 23 guernseys.  Looking across to where Moana will enter the ground with her team I wonder what is she thinking right at this moment?  Fear? Trepidation? Excitement?

I am struggling to make my way through the deepening crowds, apprehension tinged with exhilaration swirls around me.  Each one of us knows that tonight we are about to witness something spectacular.

After an eternity the club banners are raised, Collingwood and Carlton players stream onto the field to be meet with a gigantic roar of sporting celebration.

This is it!  Fleeting images of Sam Moyston, Susan Alberti, the late Jill Lindsay, and Angela Pippos come to mind – we are finally here!

The whistle blows and the ball is bounced … game on!  The first goal rockets through the goal post off Collingwood’s Jasmine Garner’s boot.  I breathe a collective sigh of relief – we are off to a good start.

To be honest several times I pinch myself – I am watching women play!  The flash of a long pony tail does not distract from fast paced ball skills, grit and determination as the minutes frantically tick by.

I am on the edge of my seat as the game progresses, come on Pies, focus – we can do this. Reluctantly I accept that we are not going to win, the disappointment is un-palatable.  I feel for my team – so much pressure on such an auspicious night.

No last rush of goals from the Pies and Carlton are the best on the night.  Despite the scoreboard, every player is a winner.  As I look around at my fellow supporters it is heartening to see that “every-one” has turned out tonight to support women playing AFL.

How awesome!

PS. Happy birthday Meg Hutchins – what a way to celebrate your birthday!



Collingwood     1.3       5.6       7.6       9.8       (62)

Carlton     3.6       9.13     15.18   22.21   (153)


Carlton: B Davey (1), B Jacobson (1), L Arnell (1), D Verscio (4)

Collingwood: J Garner (1)

BEST    Jasmine Garner and Tara Morgan (Collingwood)

Darcy Verscio and Bianca Jacobson (Carlton)

CROWD 24,500


3: Jasmine Garner for the Pies

2: Darcy Verscio for the Blues

1:  Diana Jocobson for the Blues







  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Welcome to the Almanac Lyn. Brilliant first piece, lovely stuff about the marriage proposal and the Collingwood Cheersquad waving to the cameras. It was tough that their home game ended up being in the Blues domain, both physically and score wise. Best night for all with history calling.

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