The rapidly expanding Southern NSW Women's league is likely to move to a conference-style competition next year to cater for the dramatic increase in participating clubs.
It's now reached boom proportions, with women's football among the criteria for clubs hoping to be a part of AFL Riverina's proposed premier league when a tiered competition model is introduced for 2023.
Riverina League clubs Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Turvey Park, Wagga Tigers and Coolamon all want to have teams in the Southern NSW league next year.
(Griffith are long term competitiors while Narrandera, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Collingullie-Glenfield Park are also incumbent teams from Riverina League clubs).
Farrer League heavyweights Marrar are also excited to join the competition which has had a strong Farrer presence, including women's footy powerhouse and reigning premiers Charles Sturt University, as well as North Wagga and East Wagga-Kooringal the last few years.
"We're over the moon with the interest from all clubs looking to participate in the competition next year," AFL Riverina competitions manager, Tom Walker said.
"It's a credit to everybody looking to give women an opportunity to play. It's fantastic."
Brookdale Bluebells have also competed in recent seasons.
Growing from eight teams to potentially 13 will create its own logistics headaches, particularly for a competition squeezed into the pre-season before Riverina and Farrer Leagues football and netball seasons.
AFL Riverina is looking to break the teams into separate pools, rather than a traditional home-and-away competition..
"We're looking to have a conference model, to split the competition in two," Walker said.
"This would allow us to be able to have a proper season with all clubs playing each another (within their respective conferences) before a potential two-week finals series to finish it off.
"I think clubs will understand the need for a conference model with the number of teams and the number of weeks we have."
It's anticipated the finals would see the top two teams in each pool playing off for a spot in the grand final.
The 2022 season is expected to start on February 4 and wrap up at the end of March. Clubs have until January 14 to nominate a women's team.
"We've given clubs plenty of time to get ready for the season. We'll have all nominations confirmed by mid-January and then we'll begin looking to create the conferences and draws straight away," Walker said.
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