More live games, a full season for the Tasmania Devils and the arrival of NT Thunder highlights a new era for the NAB League Girls competition for season 2020.
The 10-round competition starts on Saturday 29th February with a 2019 Grand Final rematch between the Northern Knights and the Calder Cannons at RMIT in Bundoora.
The 14 clubs collectively host 440 girls playing elite Australian Football, confirming the league as the elite pathway for young girls into the AFLW Competition.
The Grand Final will be held at Avalon Airport Oval in Werribee on Saturday 23rd May.
2019 NAB AFL Women’s number one draft pick and current Western Bulldogs player Gabrielle Newton joined Northern Knights player Jess Fitzgerald at the season launch at The Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden located in Kings Domain, Melbourne.
“The NAB League competition provides the perfect opportunity for girls to become better footballers and ultimately enhances the prospect of them becoming drafted into the AFLW competition,” Newton said.
“It was my dream to become an AFLW footballer and playing with the Northern Knights last year set me up perfectly to appreciate what is required to compete in an elite competition.”
“It is the premium pathway competition for young female talent, the standard is high, and I look forward to watching the league as a fan this season and encourage all football fans to join me.”
NAB, a long-time partner of the NAB AFL Rising Star Program, continues to support the future stars of the game through the NAB League Boys and Girls competitions.
With a focus to provide further support in education, wellbeing, high performance and coaching, the NAB League increases opportunities for talented footballers to reach their potential both on and off the field.
Tom Dobson, General Manager, Planning, Performance & Partnerships said, “We’re thrilled to be involved with the NAB League Girls competition in 2020! NAB are a proud partner of NAB AFL Auskick and the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, the NAB League sees us further support the development pathways for female footballers and to help grow the game.”
A total of 25 NAB League Girls players were drafted into the AFLW competition in 2019, including number one pick Newton, and number two draft pick Lucy McEvoy. McEvoy was awarded the 2020 round one NAB Rising Star nomination for AFLW.
AFL Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions Tristan Salter highlighted the importance of the NAB League Girls in providing talent to the AFLW Competition.
“The NAB League Girls competition continued to provide the majority of young draftees to the AFLW in 2019 and we’ve already seen the depth of talent with Lucy McEvoy recognised as a 2020 NAB Rising Star.”
“The interest in this competition will continue to grow and the addition of Tasmania for the full season and NT Thunder for games increases the national appeal.”
“The competition’s state-of-the-art app will stream all games LIVE and will feature updated stats from Champion Data. It’s a great way to watch and follow the competition.”
A total of 61 matches will be played at 26 venues across Victoria, Tasmania and Northern Territory including matches at AFL grounds GMHBA Stadium in Geelong and MARS Stadium in Ballarat.