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AFLW to expand to 14 teams in 2020 but warned ‘hard work’ needed for successful expansion
The AFL Womens competition is to expand to include the Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast for the 2020 season, but has been warned the success of an expanded 14-team competition cannot rely simply on "passion".
The Suns, Tigers, Saints and Eagles are the AFLW's newest inclusions after meeting financial, talent development and organisational requirements, with each having received provisional licenses last year.
Geelong and North Melbourne will enter the AFLW next year, joining the eight clubs who kicked off the competition in its inaugural season in 2017.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan praised the addition of the four clubs in 2020 but warned expansion does not guarantee success.
McLachlan stated "we congratulate the four successful clubs, but also caution all our industry that this league is still young and requires not just passion, but continued hard work to build solid foundations.
"The success of women's football is ultimately dependent on our whole industry working together."
AFL Head of Women's Football Nicole Livingstone said the AFLW had put itself in a strong position to grow the women's game.
Livingstone added “the confirmation of four new clubs joining the AFLW competition in 2020 is yet another significant step forward and I congratulate the successful clubs.
"Not only is this further opportunity for the next generation of talented women to play elite Australian football, but also one for fans of the game as we welcome more AFLW teams wearing iconic club colours."
The confirmation of the expanded AFLW in 2020 ensures Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney are the only AFL clubs without AFLW teams.
However, all four clubs have expressed interest in joining the AFLW, with the Bombers and Hawks fielding VFLW sides.
Image: Richmond are one of four clubs that enter the AFLW in the 2020 season (top, courtesy of Twitter/RichmondWomens)
5th December 2018 - Grassroots sport advocates unimpressed with Grant awarded to Crows AFLW team
4th December 2018 - Funding boost to support Adelaide Crows AFLW
3rd August 2018 - Fears of truncated season for AFL Womens 2019 competition
31st July 2018 - RSEA Park developments to prepare venue for St Kilda’s AFLW team
11th February 2018 - Optus Stadium welcomes record crowd for AFLW fixturew
30th January 2018 - Fans will make the game in AFLW second season
17th November 2017 - Former Olympic swimmer Nicole Livingstone named AFL’s new Head of Women’s Football
4th November 2017 - AFL Womens players get new pay deal for 2018 season
27th September 2017 - AFLW confirm further expansion plans over next two years
15th June 2016 - Eight teams to contest inaugural AFL women’s competition
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