The 2013 SEQAFL women’s league is bigger than ever before.
The AFLQ Women’s League will expand to nine teams this season, with the introduction of three new teams.
Caboolture, Coorparoo and UQ will all field senior sides for the first time in 2013, on the back of the inclusion of Palm Beach Currumbin in 2012.
Caboolture senior coach and women’s co-ordinator, Andrew Roots, said the new team had attracted a number of new people to the club, with only a few experienced players involved.
“We probably only have about five people who have played in the last five years in our team,” Roots said.
“Some girls have never handballed or kicked a goal. But now, some of them are kicking it better than the men.”
Roots was previously an assistant coach with the Caboolture seniors, under-15s and also coached women’s softball.
He will be assisted by Monique Lepri, who was a strong advocate for a women’s team at the Lions.
Lepri is a Queensland player and Caboolture junior who was forced to move to Zillmere to play football at 14 because of a lack of opportunities, something emphasises the need for a senior side, Roots said.
“Girls want a stepping stone to senior footy. They’re not going to go to a club without a senior women’s side,” he said.
“I want the girls to have fun because we are a new team and we want to create that atmosphere within the team.”
Coorparoo midfielder and Queensland women’s footy rep, Emma Zielke, echoed Roots’ comments, saying that it was crucial for girls to have a clear pathway to senior footy.
“From previous years with Yeronga’s success with grand final, you can see that purely from pathway they can develop some awesome players,” Zielke said.
“It is really important to have youth girls and players coming through to seniors.
“Now they’ve got something to work to – there’s always a chance for a call up [to seniors].”
Zielke, who has played footy for five years, pushed strongly for the establishment of a senior side at Coorparoo and launched a Facebook campaign to help recruit players to the side.
She said the best part about women’s footy was the team element.
“It’s great to make new friends. The whole team spirit is something most girls really enjoy,” Zielke said.
Coorparoo has recently signed up a new senior coach, former rep coach Damien Richards.
UQ coach Nick Kent said that 40 players had put their name down for the new side, higher than expected.
While the wet weather meant there was only a small turnout to their opening training session, Kent is optimistic that this will improve.
The other teams in the women’s league for 2013 are Yeronga Devils, Logan Cobras, Kedron Lions, Moorooka Reds and Zillmere Eagles.
The women’s season kicks off on April 13.
If you are interested in joining a women’s team, click here for all the club details.