The Bombers will continue to lobby the AFL for an AFLW licence by no later than 2023, according to CEO Xavier Campbell. 

Alongside traditional rival Hawthorn, both clubs are keen to renew their push for a spot in the national women’s competition.

Earlier this year at the cub’s Season Launch hosted by the EFC Network at Crown Palladium, Campbell declared the Bombers were well-positioned to enter the AFLW by 2022, and no later than 2023. 

02:54 Mins
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The EFC Network | Campbell on AFLW

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell on acquiring an AFLW licence from The EFC Network function yesterday.

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“We have made our intention public about our aspiration to build a platform to create a really strong women’s football program by 2022. With the completion of our facility expansion in the next 12 months, by that point it is very likely we will have the most significant women’s training facilities in the competition,” Campbell told The Age.

“Prior to the industry shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wrote to [AFL football operations boss] Steve Hocking to seek clarity about the AFL’s future expansion plans for the national women’s competition.  

“Clearly our industry has been presented with significant challenges, but we are committed to women’s football at the elite AFLW level, and we are keen to get clarity on what timelines around entry into the competition look like sooner rather than later.” 

“It remains Essendon’s strong desire to the enter the AFLW competition by 2022, and no later than 2023.” 

06:57 Mins
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National Reconciliation Week | Courtney Ugle

Essendon VFLW star and proud Noongar woman Courtney Ugle speaks to Dons Digital during National Reconciliation Week.

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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 is expected to be completed before the 2021 VFL Women’s season.