Port Adelaide Football Club welcomes today’s AFL announcement regarding the expansion of the AFLW competition.

The AFL announced it will call for submissions from the remaining four clubs, including Port Adelaide, to join the AFL Women’s Competition for Season Seven commencing late 2022.

The AFL Commission has committed to all 18 AFL clubs having an AFLW team by the beginning of Season Eight in 2023.

Port Adelaide chief executive Matthew Richardson says this is a landmark day for the club.

“Today is an exciting day for Port Adelaide. We’ve made our ambition of fielding an AFLW team very clear for some time now. Today’s announcement provides clarity for the next steps to achieve this vision and add further gender diversity to the Port Adelaide Football Club of the future,” Mr Richardson said.

“We are well placed to enter the AFLW competition in Season Seven which will commence in late 2022. Our AFLW working group are well progressed in preparation for the business model submission and the upgrade of our facilities at Alberton Oval are also aligned with this timeline.

“In the past three years, South Australia has had the greatest percentage of growth in female football participation in the country, and as of April in 2021, South Australia’s participation has grown 20% overall (junior, youth and senior).

“This growing talent pool in South Australia means a second AFLW team is critical in order to provide a pathway for young girls to pursue their dream of playing football at the highest level.

“With significant increased participation rates here in South Australia, we believe the growing talent base will enable us to enter a very competitive AFLW team as soon as possible.

“Port Adelaide’s entry into the AFLW competition will also enable an AFLW game to be played every weekend in Adelaide ensuring continual promotion and growth of the game in this surging market.”

Mr Richardson said the club was well down the path of creating world-class facilities for their AFLW players and realising an exciting vision for the Alberton Oval precinct.

“We have a clear vision and plans to provide elite training and playing facilities at Alberton Oval to provide our team with the best opportunity to be successful, whilst ensuring that Alberton also is one of the premier AFLW venues in the competition immediately.

“The exciting Alberton Oval precinct re-development will see $25-30m invested in building co-located training and rehabilitation facilities for both our men’s and women’s programs, which importantly will also be a hub for junior women’s competitions in the western suburbs.

“As a club we are well-prepared to enter the AFLW competition in Season Seven and welcome this opportunity to provide a formal submission to the AFL.”