Expanded fixture, salary cap planned for SANFLW

A FULL home and away fixture and a league-wide salary cap is set to feature in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition over the next two seasons in a huge boost for the league announced yesterday.

Having played no more than 12 matches in past seasons, all eight SANFL Women’s clubs will now face the other seven women’s clubs twice in a brand new 14-round fixture from next season. The full home nad away fixture brings extra equality to the competition, enabling a fairer and balanced schedule.

In 2025, a salary cap will be introduced with each of the eight clubs allocated $30,000 for the initial season, with a $2000 increase ahead of 2026. SANFL Executive General Manager Matt Duldig said the move was locked in after consultation with the clubs and stakeholders.

”Throughout the feedback process it became evident SANFL and its clubs were committed to having a Salary Cap in place for the Hostplus SANFLW League within the next three seasons,” he said.

”Since its introduction seven years ago, the SANFLW competition has developed a consistently high standard of play which has provided the State’s best female players with the ideal platform to shine.

”This has been illustrated by the performance of South Australia’s U18 Girls team on the national stage, winning the past two AFL National Championship crowns.”

The 2024 SANFL Women’s competition will kick off on the first weekend of March, and for the first time in league history, there will be an admission free to enter games. The $10 for adults and $5 for concession mirrors that of past SANFL Women’s finals series, and will now feature throughout the minor rounds. Children aged under 18 will remain free to enter games.

In the case of a double-header with a SANFL men’s game, the admission fee will align with that of the men’s competition, being $20 and $12 for adults and concession respectively, or $18 and $11 if pre-purchased online.

Over the past two, the SANFL Women’s has seen a number of key elements added to enhance the standing and quality of the league, including the Development League, dedicated female football managers at each club, expansion of the Under 15 and Under 17s Development squads, matches coded bby Champion Data and streamed via SANFL Now, and the SANFLW Grand Final being broadcast live on the Seven Network.

Duldig said the time was right to add a salary cap to the competition at the end of the 2024 SANFL Women’s season.

”The gradual and continued investment into our female talent pathways and competitions has been a strategic priority for SANFL,” he said. ”And has now evolved to the point where the introduction of player payments in 2025 is the right thing to do at the right time.”

The 2024 SANFL Women’s fixture is set to drop in late December.

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