Open Letter to AFL- AFLW fixture needs to be equalised

Dear AFL,

Running the AFLW competition for only seven weeks as the Home and Away season for 10 clubs is ridiculous. It’s not graceful.

All clubs should play each other in the same competition. Introducing two conferences is like AFLW having two leagues.

Integrity is essential to run the competition and such fixture would not meet the criteria.

It’s not only disappointing fans but also players too, I think.

When footballers are playing against strong sides, they would be excited. Why will some teams have to give up playing against the Western Bulldogs, for example? Their girls would be demotivated as the Bulldogs won the flag this year.

I still remember how excited I was before we played against Indonesia Volcanoes who had three ex-AFL players. I was thrilled as having been told to play on Brian Lake at the time.

All AFLW players should have such motivations and excitements, I really think. Such attitudes would create great and exciting matches that will benefit the competition.

Another point of view I want to express is girls playing good quality of footy. I found it through the 2018 AFLW season and when I watched a VFLW match in July at Frankston Park.

Why couldn’t we enjoy watching more women’s games?

The competition should be ran for players and fans, and never be with administrators’ egos.

It’s not too late to change the outline of the competition. Give girls nine Home and Away weeks plus two week finals.

Fans want to see the equalised competition. Please listen to supporters as well as players.

Yours Sincerely

Yoshi Imagawa


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About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Yoshi you are right. If the women’s teams don’t play each other at least once it is not a competition but an exhibition.

  2. Yvette Wroby says

    Beware all. The AFL head honchos are experimenting with the women’s game and they will bring this in for the men’s. They say they are listening to fans and players but I haven’t heard one of these groups support conferencing. It gets so tiring being mad all the time at HQ.

    They float ideas, get reactions, and then do what they want. Just let the women play each other and extend the season to overlap more with the men’s. Have faith in the women’s league to build.

    Thanks Yoshi

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Sorry. One more thought. I heard CEO Nicole Livingstone say that this is all costing the league money and I almost screamed at the radio that we NEVER hear that from HQ when talking about what they put in for men’s clubs like Brisbane and Gold Coast. It’s ok to flush millions into men’s bowl but we are obviously costing way too much to have a longer women’s season. Are they going to make 3 conferences when the next four teams come in? End rant.

  4. Hi and thanks for comments BJ and Yvette.

    BJ – You make a good point of view. I would be sad to see exhibition matches are played in the 2019 AFLW season…

    Yvette – I have just listened to Livingstone’s interview with Andy Maher. She points out the financial circumstances and sporting timeslots are suited with the nine-week competition. I simply don’t understand. More audience can bring the organisation more profits, right? Cricket and soccer will prevent spectators to go to AFLW games? If I can afford, I will go to both AFLW and cricket matches. Players having part time jobs make hard to expand the length of the competition? Then why do AFL spend a lot of money to run the Gold Coast Suns? Why such a struggling club is still on the competition? AFL needs to spend money reasonably. Also I want them to establish a Tasmanian club. Spend valuable momey to places and organisations who are passionate and supportive on the sport. It’s really sad that AFL don’t listen to fans, but we should hang in and speak up. We have to lobby them. I don’t hesitate to express my opinions.



  5. Nicole Livingstone is an administrative cog in the AFL. She is not being a voice for the AFLW as we hoped she would be. The cynical me says that one of her interview questions for her AFL position was, “will you do everything we say?”
    Ideally AFL grand final day replicates the NRL where the women played their grand final on the same day. I was a keen viewer and thoroughly enjoyed that game. The skills were fantastic, the tackles were brutal. But it was simply the playing of the women’s grand final on that day which says two things – integrity and respect. Good on you NRL. Often seen as the poor cousin of the AFL but in this case, the trendsetter.

    Our women’s grand final could follow a similar line or it could be slotted in during the bye week – between round 23 and the first final. It was the weekend where the exhibition matches kicked off and then the short lived State of Origin match. It is an ideal opportunity to showcase the women’s grand final. It is clean air – a term that is now a ridiculous excuse to keep the AFLW out of the men’s season.
    Better still, in 2020 the 14 teams could play each other once and follow up with the traditional 4 week final series. The grand final of this fourth week could be timed to finish in that bye round of the men’s competition.
    Yet this is a stepping stone once more. We want 18 teams and they should simply follow the men’s fixture playing before or after the men.

    As for finance:
    * the Gold Coast and GWS are financed by the AFL counted in tens of millions of dollars.
    * the AFLX is another venture where millions of AFL dollars was effortlessly found.
    * the promotion of the game overseas continues and is also easily funded – China, the Ireland v Australia series and the International Cup. India is next.
    * the AFL made in excess of $30m profit last year.
    * a large percentage of grand final tickets are sold to corporates.
    * a media deal is yet to be finalised for the future AFLW seasons.
    * with an appropriate media coverage in place, sponsors will want their slice of the action.
    * the billion dollar media deal for the AFLM is not a bottomless bucket but where does this money go?

    Livingstone, Hocking and McLachlan are running out of excuses. WE must somehow bring them to account. As Yoshi quite rightly pointed out, it is about integrity. I would add the word respect.

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