Football history beckons as six teams to line up

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

A marquee Saturday night game between South Bunbury and Carey Park is set to be the first match in the inaugural women’s South West Football League competition.

The Tigers and Panthers will officially nominate teams at tonight’s special meeting alongside four other clubs.

South Bunbury, Carey Park, Bunbury, Busselton, Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault and the Harvey Bulls will all field women’s teams in this year’s competition, with the fixtures to be played between the men’s league and reserves games.

Under the new format, Hands Oval will host the first female contest.

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The South Western Times understands South Bunbury will request that the executive change the fixture, so that the first women’s contest is played after the two league teams clash on Saturday, April 15.

The Lions and Magpies’ women’s sides will do battle at Brunswick Oval the next day.

The Harvey Bulls will have to wait a week before they can debut their women’s team, when they play the derby against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault at the Harvey Recreation Ground.

Bunbury’s women’s side will not take to the field until Round 5, when they play the Lions at Brunswick Oval on May 14.

Training has already begun for a number of teams, with Carey Park and South Bunbury starting this week, while Bunbury began last month.

Women’s football league coordinator David Wedderburn said the league’s executive was looking to follow the AFL formula for the competition.

“The clubs have given us constructive feedback and are happy to play the same as the AFL,” he said.

Wedderburn said the games would consist of four quarters of 15 minutes in length with no time-on.

He said the time was perfect to launch the women’s competition in the South West because of the success of the women’s AFL.

“Six teams is exceeding our minimum expectations,” he said.

“Nine months ago we spoke about this and four teams would have got us a competition.”

Wedderburn said the grand final was scheduled to take place before the league preliminary final at Hands Oval.

He said the best way to grow the game was to have all four matches on the same day.

“It grows not just the league, but the clubs which participate,” Wedderburn said.

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