Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell says the club is well-positioned to enter the AFLW by 2022.
Speaking at the Bombers’ season launch hosted by The EFC Network, Campbell reiterated Essendon’s commitment to delivering an industry-leading women’s football program and thriving in the country’s premier women’s football competition.
“Quite simply, it is our aspiration to build a platform to create the best women’s football program in the country by 2022,” Campbell said on Wednesday.
“I know our members, supporters and key stakeholders feel equally as passionate about our entry into the AFLW competition.
“I can also confirm that we have recently written to AFL GM of football Steve Hocking to request clarity on the AFL’s position on the growth and future expansion of the AFLW competition and absolute certainty on our entry point.
“It is our strong desire to enter the AFLW competition by 2022, and no later than 2023. The ball is in the AFL’s court.”
The Bombers have taken significant steps to realising their vision for women’s football, with a $21m stage two expansion of the NEC Hangar including dedicated women’s football facilities.
The expansion will be completed before the 2021 VFL Women’s season – Essendon’s fourth year in the competition.
“By the end of the year, in line with the completion of the second stage of the facility expansion, we will have the best facilities anywhere in the country, boasting the most outstanding and comprehensive female facilities in the game. The Essendon Football Club will be equipped (for AFLW),” Campbell said.
“When you look at the football participation rates and in particular the growth of grassroots girls football, the game of AFLW is over-achieving. The inclusion of Essendon and even our arch-rival Hawthorn will only strengthen this growth.”