Next AFLW season could be brought forward to August

The AFL Commission is reportedly considering a change to the scheduling of the AFLW season, including starting next season as early as August 2022.

Key points:

  • Scott Gowans says his team is already preparing for a possible August start date for next season
  • The AFL CEO said a decision on the start date was expected in the “next couple of weeks”
  • Four expansion teams — Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney — will enter the AFLW in the new season

The current AFLW season is still underway, with the final round of the regular season to be played this weekend, and the grand final scheduled for the first weekend of April.

Starting season seven in August 2022 would therefore mean a break of just four months between seasons for the part-time athletes.

It would also mean the final four new teams — Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney — would have to enter the competition much earlier than envisioned. Season seven had been slated to start in late 2022 or early 2023.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan was asked about the planned change following a meeting of league executives in Melbourne on Wednesday.

“It will be a quick process and we’ll have a decision on that in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Scott Gowans, who will coach Sydney when the club enters the competition, said his side was already preparing for an August start date.

“I just think there’s enough rumours going around,” Gowans said.

It is believed that the players are broadly supportive of the proposed August start date, however there are a number of issues to be resolved.

Author: Ivan Robinson