Bid to revive the hurdle in hybrid format

Bid to revive the hurdle in hybrid format

AFL and women’s players are keen to revive international rules, but a major hurdle stands in the way of a Gather Round match.

The AFLW competition will move to a fully national design for the first time, moving from the state model that has been used in some form in previous years. With the new CBA in play, this means for the players >>

The league is eager to revive the hybrid format after a seven-year hiatus, harnessing the strength of a 30-plus Irish AFLW cohort.

But the players are unlikely to be persuaded to return to Australia this April weekend for an exhibition game.

A home match or a clash between Victoria and an allied team or ‘Dream Team’ have also been mooted as possible ways to showcase women’s football during next year’s Adelaide festival.

Next year’s AFL Gather round could feature a Victoria vs. Women’s Allies, similar to the match played in September 2017 at Marvel Stadium. Image: Michael Klein

This year the Gather Round took place on the same weekend as the GAA Women’s National Football League Final and the majority of the Irish contingent tended to stay at home until the start of the AFLW pre-season which started on June 3rd prior to this season. .

The introduction of 12-month contracts in the latest collective bargaining agreement has not prevented clubs from allowing players to continue playing Gaelic football in the off-season.

An April match would take place during the AFLW off-season holiday period, meaning participation would be voluntary for the league’s top players.

But it is understood there is significant enthusiasm from the Australian and Irish cohorts for an inaugural women’s match.

Australia and Ireland have not competed in a men’s international rules series since 2017, while a women’s series has not been held since the inception of the AFLW.

An AFLPA spokesman said the association “strongly supported” the inclusion of a representative women’s game during the Assembly Round.

Carlton winger Dayna Finn, who moved to Australia from Ireland full-time ahead of the second AFLW season, said Ireland players could refuse to travel for a one-off game in April.

“I think there will be a bit of difficulty because if you’re going to come back (to Ireland) and play the (GAA) Championship between May and June, that’s a lot of traveling and probably tough mentally and physically,” he said Finn. .

“But I think most Irish players would jump at the chance to play in it.

“I think it would be great to give more publicity to the AFL at home and rekindle that competition between both countries.”