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AFLW expansion unlikely until 2019: McLachlan

Roger Vaughan, AAP  February 8, 2017 6:12 PM

Hot topics: Jobe's medal, GF timing Peter Ryan with a stack of fresh news from briefing at League headquarters

THE AFL is unlikely to expand the NAB AFL Women's competition until 2019 at the earliest, with officials wary of trying too much progress, too soon.

While rapt with the success of the inaugural round last weekend, AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it would take two years for the women's League to develop properly. 

At last week's launch of the League, he pleaded for patience as the competition inevitably goes through growing pains. 

"I don't think we will bring in any more teams next year," he said. 

"I believe we need to consolidate on where we are now and we will look at expanding for the 2019 season. 

"It will give proper time to bring talent through." 

Crowd numbers were well above the League's expectations last weekend, with fans locked out of the inaugural Friday night game between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park.

"We're obviously incredibly pleased - (it's) a lot of work by a lot of people to get there, including a number of women over decades," McLachlan said.

"It wasn't just the numbers, but it was just the energy and enthusiasm and the joy of those games. 

"That Friday night game was great noise, great energy - people were happy." 

And McLachlan said it is just the start.

"The standard will grow every time and in two years' time, it will be unbelievable," he said. 

"I reckon there's something very exciting about it."