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Thread: AFLW

  1. #25
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    I watched quite a bit of the AFLW awards night last night and what a joyous, relaxed celebration it was. Erin Phillips (Adelaide) was the very deserving winner of the best and fairest award and Daisy Pearce (Melbourne) equally deserving as the chosen captain of the first women's all-Australian team.

    I felt for the Brisbane women who went through the season undefeated (with one draw) but then lost the GF. However Adelaide Crows were very deserving winners. And there was something special about the inaugural premiership team being coached by a woman. And what an impressive woman at that - she seems to be an inspired coach.

    " Bec Goddard, who won the prize post of first coach of Adelaide's first women's team is in so many ways a very modern coach. A new-wave thinker who sports thick-rimmed glasses, a cropped asymmetric hairdo, shocks of colour on her fingernails and hot-pink socks with her team uniform. Goddard plays piano, trumpet and guitar and this year will complete a degree in Persian language Farsi.

    She also has an old-fashioned belief in the power of words and has drummed many mantras into her squad since it first assembled last November."

    Love letters from an AFL coach

  2. #26
    pr. dim-melb; m not f
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    Thanks for the comments Meg, and for the link.

    I'm particularly interested in the "love letters" to the players; it occurred to me that this is something a woman might do, but a man would be rather unlikely to do. Which may be a pity, given the galvanising effect it seems to have had on the women.
    He reminds him of the guys, close-set, slow, and never rattled, who were play-makers on the team. (John Updike, seeing Josh Kennedy in a crystal ball)

  3. #27
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    AFLW

    Don, I agree that the 'love letters' were very much a woman's touch. Possibly only another woman could intuitively recognise and understand the insecurities her players would be feeling. This comment from one player sums that up:

    "I'm a person who, at times, probably doesn't have the best self-belief. That's something I've got to work on. But even if it's just for a couple of seconds I can read that (the coach's letter) and think: 'Well, if my coach can say these things about me and she's got trust in me then it's about time I had the trust myself and my ability.' "

  4. #28
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    It is great to have a female-coached team win. It is fascinating to see the cultural differences that are emerging. Men's footy has a lot it can learn and gain from watching women's footy and its culture. Just as women's footy has no doubt learnt and benefitted enormously from the progress men's footy has delivered (and not just the mistakes!).

    Thanks for the link to an absorbing article, Meg. The 'love letters' were a great initiative by Bec Goddard. I can totally see how they would be effective. I could possibly see a bloke doing something similar to 'love letters' but they probably wouldn't call them that (except ironically) nor sign them off with "love". Kirky maybe? He has talked about the importance of loving your team mates. Anyway, times are changing and emotions, tears and loving language are becoming more acceptable, even among blokes.

    A couple of thoughts about the B&F Award and its coverage: I thought the photos of Erin Phillips kissing her wife were a bit gratuitous - I don't recall that same kind of focus on Danger's wife kissing him when he won the Brownlow. Then again I suppose it may be more newsworthy in Erin & Tracy's case, since it is a newer phenomenon. Also, as best I could tell, there didn't seem to be any (many?) male partners among the players' tables which seemed a bit strange since at least Erin's wife was present. Presumably it wouldn't be that only female partners were allowed. I might be wrong though because I just saw the glimpses of footage from afl.com.au's footy feed or something. Maybe it's just that the majority of players didn't bring any partner at all? Maybe you can elucidate, Meg, since you watched quite a bit?

    There have been some great suggestions for the AFLW comp next year including not having it overlap with the men's season and giving it prominence ahead of the JLT series. However, one that I am less sold on is the suggestion that the games should not be free because it 'devalues' the women's game. I don't agree with this at all. I'd be curious what the players think. I think it is great to attract the best crowds possible and keeping the community spirit and this is what free admission does. While I agree at some stage admission will and should be charged it is normal business practice to have a period of 'loss leading' while you are building the business. I think improving the players' pay is more important than charging admission but the two don't have to be linked. Better crowds makes for a more attractive product which, I daresay, would be more marketable on TV, which is where the greater money is going to come from to start off with. It's also great to get more footy in that period which is otherwise a bit of a frustrating period waiting for the footy season to properly resume.

  5. #29
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    A couple of thoughts about the B&F Award and its coverage: I thought the photos of Erin Phillips kissing her wife were a bit gratuitous - I don't recall that same kind of focus on Danger's wife kissing him when he won the Brownlow. Then again I suppose it may be more newsworthy in Erin & Tracy's case, since it is a newer phenomenon. Also, as best I could tell, there didn't seem to be any (many?) male partners among the players' tables which seemed a bit strange since at least Erin's wife was present. Presumably it wouldn't be that only female partners were allowed. I might be wrong though because I just saw the glimpses of footage from afl.com.au's footy feed or something. Maybe it's just that the majority of players didn't bring any partner at all? Maybe you can elucidate, Meg, since you watched quite a bit?
    The 'kiss your partner' immediately after the announcement of the Brownlow seems to be a mandatory part of the men's awards night so I like that the photo of Erin kissing her wife has been widely published. However I understand why you might wonder about the media's motives.

    Erin gave an articulate, heart-felt speech in response to the award in which she thanked her family, her team mates, the AFL (particularly for bringing forward the timing of the comp. as, at age 30, she is nearing the end of her athletic career) and at the end an emotional, loving tribute to Tracy, her wife, which caused quite a few tears. Erin and Tracy have surely shown how out-of-touch Australia is on the issue of marriage equality.

    In regard to partners at the function, there was a wonderful mixture: many players unaccompanied (or more accurately in the celebratory companionship of their team mates): players with their female partners, players with their male partners, Tayla Harris with both her parents; Ellie Blackburn with her mother; Chelsea Randall with her father; and Sarah Perkins with her brother.

    And while a lot of the players 'glammed up' (and a couple wore tuxedos) I loved the fact that they still held themselves like athletes - sort of strode along in their gowns - none of that (to me) silly, pretentious pouting poses that seem to be obligatory from the Brownlow WAGs.

  6. #30
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    It's also great to hear that the AFLW season may be expanded (not sure if this is just going to be by adding a top-4 finals series, which might mean only one extra week): Lethlean open to AFLW finals series introduction. However, I would still prefer to see this happen by starting the season earlier than seeing it cut across the men's season. Perhaps this isn't viable.

    Another improvement will be expanding the clubs' lists. I certainly agree this should be the priority ahead of increasing the number of clubs in the comp. In future, expanding the number of clubs in the comp will be the same way to extend the season, as the number of H&A fixtures increases. So, I suppose, eventually, the men's and women's seasons are going to have to cut across each other. Maybe I just need to accept that.

  7. #31
    Veterans List aardvark's Avatar
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    I heard Daisy Pearce interviewed recently and she seemed to think it likely that there will be 8 teams playing home and away rounds starting in November 2017 with a final 4 finishing in the vacant week before the Men's Rnd 1. In my opinion Womens AFL is the best thing to happen to this country for years. It can't start again soon enough in my book.

  8. #32
    I feel sorry for netball who has the very best players from around the globe playing in Super Netball which has struggled to gain press against a comp where the skills are poor with many of the players only taking it up recently. I genuinely enjoyed the AFLW season but it was first and foremost a victory for the AFL PR and Advertising machine.

    The challenge now is to build a sport that is devoid of novelty value (spare me the endless lesbian couple statements) and built on elite skill level. Let's see how season 2 goes but I agree Season 1 has been an overwhelming success. I'd expand the comp to two teams (an extra Melbourne side and one in Geelong) and leave it at that until the skill level increases to a decent level.

    As for those people clamouring for a second team I think it is worth noting that Sydney currently has only 22 senior women's sides, i.e.approx 500 players out a national participation of 380,000 of whom I suspect many are new players trying out the sport on the back of the recent publicity. It's naïve to suggest we could add a second team any time soon given how dreadfully poor GWS were.

    I suspect sports like netball are be glad of the general increase in awareness of women's sport but are also very wary of the AFL's power, they may well be regretting handing over the two expansion licences to AFL teams imo....

  9. #33
    The Open Mike with Erin Phillips , her Dad , Mike and his daughter Kate (as an interviewer) was outstanding . Try to see it.

    Erin gets $8k per season to play AFLW , however if she's injured playing footy her contract of $110k per annum playing Basketball is torn up!
    The whole Erin story was fantastic .

  10. #34
    Veterans List aardvark's Avatar
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    Latest from Andrew Ireland......Swans eye AFLW side - sydneyswans.com.au

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotpotato View Post
    The Open Mike with Erin Phillips , her Dad , Mike and his daughter Kate (as an interviewer) was outstanding . Try to see it.

    Erin gets $8k per season to play AFLW , however if she's injured playing footy her contract of $110k per annum playing Basketball is torn up!
    The whole Erin story was fantastic .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsSJZjdB15k

  11. #35
    Go Swannies! Site Admin Meg's Avatar
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    Thanks aardvark, good comments from Ireland. And I've now watched the Phillipsx2 Open Mike - very interesting!

  12. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post

    There have been some great suggestions for the AFLW comp next year including not having it overlap with the men's season and giving it prominence ahead of the JLT series. However, one that I am less sold on is the suggestion that the games should not be free because it 'devalues' the women's game. I don't agree with this at all. I'd be curious what the players think. I think it is great to attract the best crowds possible and keeping the community spirit and this is what free admission does. While I agree at some stage admission will and should be charged it is normal business practice to have a period of 'loss leading' while you are building the business. I think improving the players' pay is more important than charging admission but the two don't have to be linked. Better crowds makes for a more attractive product which, I daresay, would be more marketable on TV, which is where the greater money is going to come from to start off with. It's also great to get more footy in that period which is otherwise a bit of a frustrating period waiting for the footy season to properly resume.
    Initiating the AFLW is the best thing the AFL has done for years. There was definitely some novelty interest this season, but there was also a lot of very genuine footy interest.

    Agree that the AFL needs to keep entry free to help build grass roots support and there's not doubt a good crowd atmosphere makes the game better to watch on TV. Plenty of time for paying for tickets once demand has built up.

    Also some things that I reckon need to be looked at to improve the game.

    16 players didn't work. Apart from the extra work load on players and the impact on run, only having 16 players cuts the number of outside players and some games turned into rolling mauls as a result. With 18 players, the extra's won't be in the contest and will help with outside options, as well as with running intensity. This has to open the game up and help with scoring.

    Using a size 4 ball doesn't help either. Anyone who has kicked different sized footballs knows that although the smaller balls look like they travel, a full sized ball will travel metres further. The extra distance from a bigger ball has to help a bit with scoring and with opening the game up. I don't buy the argument either that the smaller average hand size of women means they need a smaller ball. 14/15 year old boys use a full size ball with and the players in the AFLW are elite sports people, so they'd have no problems.

    The AFL and those associated also need to treat the AFLW as an elite competition in all regards, including by ensuring the game gets the best umpires and commentators. Some of the umpiring this season was bewildering and detracted from the spectacle and some of the commentary wasn't at the level required to develop the product.

    Plenty to work on, but a great start and looking forward to AFLW 2.

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