Women's Footy Nigel Smart speaking about women's team

Bay62

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Great insight, thanks for sharing!

Anyone could see after Round 1 of the AFLW how good it was going to be. Fages and co have to be commended for chasing the opportunity, treating it with the respect it deserved and ultimately reaping the maximum reward with the Premiership.
Yeah, one of the key decisions they made was to go with a female coach in Bec Goddard rather than a male development coach already on staff like Brisbane did with Starcevich. Fages and Noble strong on that, Smart agreed with them.

Surely a female coach in charge of other women is going to ignite more passion than a man in charge, particularly in the first year. Lions almost proved that wrong, but correct decision imo by Adelaide
 

Bay62

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He's correct about the huge interest this has generated. My local team has gone from one 8 aside girls team last year to fielding a Senior, Under 16 and Under 18 side within a couple of months of the season ending. Great from a participation, revenue and atmosphere point of view. The growth of women's footy is a massive positive for AFC and for grassroots footy.
I'm involved at Glenelg - they can't afford to do anything atm but they've invested in a women's team because it's an opportunity for growth

Smart reckons other SANFL clubs need to get on board and see the potential
 

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SES SA

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I think the club arrogance probably also changed with the 2014 Port Adelaide surge, suddenly everything stopped being handed to them in a handbasket and they had to work for it.
I think you're right and this is just infuriating. With what he inherited imagine what could have been built if he (or someone more qualified) had worked for it during that decade of complacency.
 

GreyCrow

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I'd say it's not.

AFL need to look at the amount of 12, 14 and 16 year old girls who are joining clubs and see how the numbers (and quality) look. Immediately trying to find 80-120 more players to play next year, when they claim there was a shortage of quality players in states alreaduy, just to add 4-6 more teams seems really foolish. They will, because the AFL is massively impatient like that though.
Which is why I see 2020 as an ideal time to bring in a few more teams. Let the 16 yr olds hit the 1st draft etc
 

GreyCrow

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Thank you so much for posting this. Great work
Went to a breakfast this morning where Nigel Smart provided an inside look at the development of the women's team
- still working out how many of those who went to AFLW games are true "fans" of the women's league as distinct from Crows fans who are just interested
Interested they picked up on this. I have been honest in saying I don't think my interest would have been as high if it wasn't the AFC. Reading the Womens Footy Board I also see this from supporters of those teams without a side. And I can understand this feeling. I note jatz14 has stated she has followed the Crows , but I would think its also her interest in it as well rather than Crow specific.

I wonder if a survey should/will be sent out with this question prominent.
 

jatz14

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Thank you so much for posting this. Great work
Interested they picked up on this. I have been honest in saying I don't think my interest would have been as high if it wasn't the AFC. Reading the Womens Footy Board I also see this from supporters of those teams without a side. And I can understand this feeling. I note jatz14 has stated she has followed the Crows , but I would think its also her interest in it as well rather than Crow specific.

I wonder if a survey should/will be sent out with this question prominent.
she?

I am following all the teams really, though, and it pains me to say this, Freo specifically.

The reason is, I started paying attention to womens footy in about 2012 (for various, not very clear or sensible reasons). I actually pestered BF into putting a womens forum on BF, which they did with the veiled threat of removing it if it was not used. So I felt I had to post there myself as I wasn't sure anyone else would, which was difficult as I didn't actually know much about it.

The timing was fortuitous, as this roughly corresponded with the start of the progress to a womens league, which I therefore followed all the way through. By the time the league started, I knew most of the players involved.

This is the important distinction. A lot of people started watching because it was their club, I was watching because by then, I new a lot of the backstory and personalities involved.

Over the last few months, a lot of people have caught up to me.

What gives the league a chance of lasting success is if this happens generally, if players and their stories capture peoples attention and make them followers of the womens teams in their own right, not just because they wear the club colours. This is what the AFL has done right, and done better than any other womens sport in Australia, get people invested in the individuals involved in the game.

So hopefully, people paying attention because its the club, become involved in the team, even despite themselves.
 

jatz14

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The Afl's assumption that SA only had around 6 Elite players is ridiculous. The four SANFL women's teams had plenty of talent to spread around. I think Morphettville Park in the SAWFL alone would have about 10 elite players.
Actually, I am not sure it is. 6 may even be generous. Only about half the 2016 SA state side made the crows list, and some of the Crows this year have improved enormously since then.
If you look at the club awards, Phillips was from Basketball, Randall was from WA. Marinoff was from SA, but as a kid straight out of U18s would not have been ranked elite. Sedunary in 4th was Morphetville Park, but I doubt she would have been considered elite in 2016, Foley is from NT, Metcalf is from ACT, Thompson is from NT, Cramey was considered the best player in SA and came 8th, Perkins from Vic in 9th, Varnhagen from Morphetville park in 10th.

I do not think most people not following womens footy in 2015/16 realise how unlikely SA even getting a team was at one point. Just getting a team was a huge achievement, having it become successful and high profile will rewrite womens footy in SA, and do it quickly.
 

Vikingblood

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Actually, I am not sure it is. 6 may even be generous. Only about half the 2016 SA state side made the crows list, and some of the Crows this year have improved enormously since then.
If you look at the club awards, Phillips was from Basketball, Randall was from WA. Marinoff was from SA, but as a kid straight out of U18s would not have been ranked elite. Sedunary in 4th was Morphetville Park, but I doubt she would have been considered elite in 2016, Foley is from NT, Metcalf is from ACT, Thompson is from NT, Cramey was considered the best player in SA and came 8th, Perkins from Vic in 9th, Varnhagen from Morphetville park in 10th.

I do not think most people not following womens footy in 2015/16 realise how unlikely SA even getting a team was at one point. Just getting a team was a huge achievement, having it become successful and high profile will rewrite womens footy in SA, and do it quickly.
It's already started. See lots of young girls at my club whose parents are Port supporters, wearing the Crows women's guernsey. Numbers of players and enquiries are coming in daily for this season. The trick will be for both the AFL and grassroots teams to capitalise on the momentum and not take it for granted. It needs to be nurtured.
 

Bay62

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It's already started. See lots of young girls at my club whose parents are Port supporters, wearing the Crows women's guernsey. Numbers of players and enquiries are coming in daily for this season. The trick will be for both the AFL and grassroots teams to capitalise on the momentum and not take it for granted. It needs to be nurtured.
It's a real dilemma. Smart indicated that some of the smaller grassroots clubs are struggling with demand which then means girls go to stronger clubs like Morphettville Park. So the strong get stronger. Everyone is trying to work through those issues.

Meanwhile it seems logical to run with the same teams next year and bed things down as they are only now learning what it all means and what the competition is worth in terms of spectator interest, support, sponsorship etc. However other clubs are clambering to be involved and can reasonably argue that the AFL shouldn't lock them out of it, or else they suffer what you have indicated - girls supporting "opposition" teams and their "natural" clubs missing out on their support, perhaps for their lifetime.

What isn't known at this point is the effect that charging an entrance fee would have on attendances. Smart didn't mention it but it seems this is the main variable that they need data on asap
 

NikkiNoo

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It's a real dilemma. Smart indicated that some of the smaller grassroots clubs are struggling with demand which then means girls go to stronger clubs like Morphettville Park. So the strong get stronger. Everyone is trying to work through those issues.

Meanwhile it seems logical to run with the same teams next year and bed things down as they are only now learning what it all means and what the competition is worth in terms of spectator interest, support, sponsorship etc. However other clubs are clambering to be involved and can reasonably argue that the AFL shouldn't lock them out of it, or else they suffer what you have indicated - girls supporting "opposition" teams and their "natural" clubs missing out on their support, perhaps for their lifetime.

What isn't known at this point is the effect that charging an entrance fee would have on attendances. Smart didn't mention it but it seems this is the main variable that they need data on asap
Actually Morphies can only have so many teams, and my club has gained players from them that wanted an opportunity to play, so it goes both ways. It also helps that we are in a different division from Morphies, so that covers the apparent different 'talent' levels. The main problem is coaches for those teams and that is something that will take time to fix.

On the entrance fee, a lot of the discussion I and my family had at games with other supporters around us was that they would be happy to pay a cheap admission price and keep the kids free. A lot of anecdotal comments that it felt like old school footy where it was cheap to go and free to take the kids.
 

Vikingblood

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Actually Morphies can only have so many teams, and my club has gained players from them that wanted an opportunity to play, so it goes both ways. It also helps that we are in a different division from Morphies, so that covers the apparent different 'talent' levels. The main problem is coaches for those teams and that is something that will take time to fix.

On the entrance fee, a lot of the discussion I and my family had at games with other supporters around us was that they would be happy to pay a cheap admission price and keep the kids free. A lot of anecdotal comments that it felt like old school footy where it was cheap to go and free to take the kids.
Agree. As long as they keep any admission fee reasonable, say $10 maximum and kids under 16 free, I think it will sustain and grow attendances. The mistake would be to assume that the interest will sustain itself and that the AFL can start using it as a cash vehicle. That's at least 5 years away to me.
 

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Bay62

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Agree. As long as they keep any admission fee reasonable, say $10 maximum and kids under 16 free, I think it will sustain and grow attendances. The mistake would be to assume that the interest will sustain itself and that the AFL can start using it as a cash vehicle. That's at least 5 years away to me.
Yep seems the logical next step. From a monetization point of view they are playing the long game so can take small steps. As NikkiNoo says fills a gap for cheap family entertainment. Next question is whether that then affects SANFL attendances
 

NikkiNoo

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Yep seems the logical next step. From a monetization point of view they are playing the long game so can take small steps. As NikkiNoo says fills a gap for cheap family entertainment. Next question is whether that then affects SANFL attendances
Not if they keep it over the summer months, which is the preference for the players and it means that we will have AFL games on our tv almost all year round. And allow the AFL to control the media in terms of being at the forefront of every sports reporting.
 

MRB37

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I'm actually surprised they didn't do the old "gold coin donation" entry fee thing and help raise some money for a good cause with the AFLW entry.
 

Pdub

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I'm actually surprised they didn't do the old "gold coin donation" entry fee thing and help raise some money for a good cause with the AFLW entry.
Then they need to pay people to take the money and security to stop them from getting mugged.
 

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