Perth enters Rogers Cup to complete WAFLW set
THE last remaining West Australian top flight club will enter its first ever women’s side next season, with Perth confirming it will field a Rogers Cup team in 2023. Though not stepping up to the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s just yet – the Demons intend on a senior flight side in the future – Perth’s inclusion means all West Australian junior catchment regions will field teams in some capacity.
In 2023, East Perth will enter the WAFL Women’s League for the first time, following in the footsteps of West Perth this year. Prior to that, South Fremantle joined in 2020 to complement the five other existing clubs since the move of the West Australian Women’s Football League (WAWFL) to align with the WAFL for both men’s and women’s competitions.
In lieu of a Reserves competition next season, the WAFL Women’s will purely focus on development to lift the talent reach and maximise the potential young stars. Two years ago, Perth directors Kelly Townson and Carolyn Halo planned a “zero to halo” strategy in order to put the building blocks in place to field a Rogers Cup side in the future.
Though entering its first season next year, Perth has partnered with Penrhos College over the past two seasons to deliver a female football program, and assist with coaching teams in the school’s competition. Additionally, Perth founded its first Female Academy last year, with Swan Districts premiership player Gavin Outridge taking the reins to play against three other WAFL Women’s development Academies in Subiaco, West Perth and East Perth in October.
Perth president Bob Shields said it had been a lot of determination and hard work to get to this point, but he was thrilled the club had taken the first steps in establishing a women’s senior team.
“It has taken three years of hard work by a dedicated team, but the Perth Football Club is excited to be invited into the Rogers Cup competition in 2023,” he said. The next step is the Perth WAFLW team”.
West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) Chief Executive Michael Roberts said completing the nine teams in the female junior pathway was an enormous moment for the league and the state, and congratulated Perth on its hard work in getting to this moment.
“It’s an exciting moment for the female football talent pathway as Perth FC are now represented in the Rogers Cup,” Roberts said. The WAFC is fully committed to assist Perth in the transition into Rogers Cup by supporting staff development in their first year in the competition.”
Perth is on the lookout for players wishing to try out for a spot in the Rogers Cup squad, with full details via the Demons’ website.