WOMEN’S football returns to Port Augusta on Sunday April 30 at Central Oval, following on from two previous hit-outs in 2016.
The exhibition match will be held at half time of the Spencer Gulf League (SGL) grand final rematch between South Augusta and West Augusta.
The match is part of reigning champions South Augusta’s season launch, with game organiser and South Augusta Football Club committee member Michael Kerin hoping to attract a minimum of 20 players.
Kerin said the first women’s match held at half time of an SGL match in July 2016 was very successful, but the second attempt – a 5pm fixture at the conclusion of an A Grade SGL match in August 2016 – did not attract the same interest.
“Last year, game one was really positive and promising for the future, then game two was disappointing, maybe because of the timing,” Kerin said.
“I’d really like to get the first game this year back to that positive feel, which gives us a bit of incentive to repeat it three, four, five times down the track.”
I’d really like to get the first game this year back to that positive feel, which gives us a bit of incentive to repeat it three, four, five times down the track.Michael Kerin
Following the AFLW’s Crows Come and Try Clinic on February 22 at Braddock Park – which attracted over 100 girls of all ages – Kerin said he is looking to broaden the targeted age group.
“Last year I concentrated on women’s football, post-school age, but when the Crows girls were up here, there were about 100 Primary School-aged girls,” he said.
“That opened my eyes a bit to widening our aim to involve five, six, seven, eight year old girls through to 30-plus year old women.
“I got a whole pile of details from that session in terms of interest from people.”
Kerin believes a realistic short-term goal is to have regular exhibition matches, but hopes to see a women’s SGL competition in the future.
“We want to cotton on to the AFL coat tail a bit, even though we were ahead of them (in women’s football) by quite some time last year,” he said.
“It’s a chance to broaden the base for the three footy clubs and attract new members.”
Women’s football has seen a meteoric rise since the success of the 2017 AFL Women’s season, with 318,880 females registered to play Australia wide.
Jenna Glamuzina, 14, and Amelia Etchells, 15, are both keen to ride the wave of women’s football’s recent success, as they gear up for their first ever football match.
“We had the Crows Clinic a few weeks ago and I got into it (football) then and I really enjoyed it,” Jenna said.
The SGL match between South and West will commence at 2:20pm, with the women’s exhibition game to begin at about 3:15pm.
To register, visit the Port Augusta Women’s Football Facebook page or contact Mick Kerin on 0455 989 144.