In another indication of the rapid growth of Women’s football across Tasmania, the Tasmanian Women’s League – North (TWL North) competition will expand by two teams in 2018.

After a highly successful inaugural season for the northern region competition, TWL North will expand to six teams for the upcoming year.

George Town and South Launceston Football Clubs have been granted licences to join from 2018 and Old Scotch have received a provisional licence, seeing them join the competition from 2019.

AFL Tasmania in conjunction with NTFA conducted the application process over a period of months, to determine which clubs would gain licences in the first phase of expansion.

George Town and South Launceston were successful due to their preparation work on and off the field.Additionally, both clubs have strong pathways from their junior clubs, the youth girls teams at their junior clubs that will help the flow of players into their senior team for next season and many years to come.

AFL Tasmania’s Leigh Elder said it is fantastic to have a strong field of applicants and pleasing enthusiasm for the future of Women’s football in the region.

“We congratulate the successful clubs in their entry into The TWL North competition for 2018 and 2019.

“Appreciation must go to all clubs that expressed interest in Women’s football in the region.

“We envisage that the majority of clubs will have a Women’s team within five years and it is an important process to ensure we grow as well as protect this market during its expansion phase,” Elder explained.

After a review of the TWL North’s inaugural year it was agreed to develop a staggered growth approach to ensure there is protection for the current clubs in the competition.

Due to the quality of their application, Old Scotch have been granted a provisional licence, ensuring their position in the competition for 2019, after developing a relationship with East Launceston Junior Football Club.

NTFA Director Louise Milwood said the NTFA is encouraged and excited by the expansion.

“South Launceston and George TownFootballs clubs bring with them a professionalism and enthusiasm that will broaden the credibility of our league, providing an inclusive environment for players to participate in Women’s Football.

“These licences bring more opportunity for both city and regional females to enter our competition through dedicated pathways.

“The NTFA are inspired by the cultural changes being embraced by our clubs and anticipate a very successful women’s competition for the future. “

Many other clubs had expressed interest and a similar process would be adopted for further growth for 2019.  It is envisaged that within five years the majority of the NTFA will be participating in the Women’s competition.

AFL Tasmania and the NTFA are working through a transition of the competition’s management over the course of 2018 and 2019.  It would be envisaged that the women’s competition is managed by the NTFA in the future.