PLAYING with a smaller ball and using 16 players per team could lead to a fast, open exhibition of women's football, say a leading player and AFL club coach.

Speaking on episode four of women's football podcast Trail Blazers, Melbourne defender Melissa Hickey and Western Bulldogs coach Paul Groves are open-minded about the rules being trialled in Saturday night's AFL women's All-Stars match at Whitten Oval.

They believe the ball – specially made by Sherrin based on specifications from recent testing of players' hands and overall physiques – is even smaller than the ball generally used in women’s football. 

The Bulldogs and Demons will field some of the biggest names in women’s football in the last of 10 exhibition matches this season leading up to the new women's league set to start next February.

The pair, along with host Nat Edwards, also discuss:

  • How players are balancing their local clubs' finals commitments and the last of the AFL's exhibition series matches
  • Whether it's possible to stop the great Daisy Pearce
  • The October 12 women's draft
  • Plans for pre-season training

How to watch the Bulldogs-Demons women's exhibition match

Head to or the AFL Live App from 7pm AEST on Saturday, September 3 for live video and audio streams. The match will also be broadcast nationally on the Seven Network.

Want more women's footy news?

• Meet the future stars of the women's game at the AFL women's football hub

• 2016 women's exhibition games: latest fixture and results