One division for WFL women’s

Stephanie Thompson (Ljubica Vrankovic) 359360_09

The Western Football League will have just one women’s division this season.

The league has revealed its fixture with just nine teams down from last season when they had 14 teams in two divisions.

Last season’s runners-up Caroline Springs are back, but will have one team instead of two like the past two seasons.

Werribee Centrals and Parkside Spurs, which also made division 1 finals, will have sides, along with Yarraville Seddon Eagles, who were also in division 1.

Division 2 premiers West Footscray will be hoping to continue its momentum, while division 2 runners-up Wyndhamvale and North Sunshine are the other returning teams.

The Suns, who are coached by former Point Cook Centrals coach Leanne Meyer, are the one new team in the competition.

Division 1 premiers Spotswood, which had two sides last season, won’t field a side this season.

Glen Smith, who was appointed coach for this season, told Star Weekly in early February that it wasn’t looking good in terms of getting a team up.

A big chunk of the playing group followed their former coaches.

Braybrook announced on Facebook in March that it wouldn’t have the numbers for a side this year, while Point Cook Centrals won’t either.

WFL football general manager Luke Henry said long term they wanted to get the competition back to two healthy divisions.

“Obviously it’s no surprise we’ve gone from two divisions to one with the number of teams,” he said.

“We are looking forward to the season itself and the structure that we have in place for it. We are always about growth and we want to grow footy in the female space up from under-18 level to senior women.

“There’s always some challenges in fielding teams and sides.

“We’re looking forward to what is ahead and want to branch back out to two divisions.”

Henry said they won’t split the competition during the season, with it to stay one division throughout.

He said one of the big things they’re looking at doing is changing how finals look for senior women and under-18s.

“An exciting thing we are going to do is have senior women’s football and under-19s finals that align.

“We want to show that pathway and have a female football day for the grand finals which we’re excited to do.”

The WFL women’s season kicks off on Friday night with the Spurs hosting the Suns under lights.

Caroline Springs, which will be one of the favourites again, will play Werribee Centrals on Saturday.

Tara Murray