Brisbane’s meteoric rise to second spot on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season has seen Chris Fagan named the AFL Coaches Association’s senior coach of the year.
With the AFLW growing in popularity, where can we possibly play the matches in the upcoming season?
Unfortunately the Football Park redevelopment into a residential complex is occurring because that could have been a golden opportunity to become the home of South Australian women’s football as all men’s football has now been transferred to the Adelaide Oval.
The AFLW didn’t start until 2017 and I’m of a firm believer that if the league became a force in the early 2010s, then this would have been heavily considered.
Norwood Oval currently hosts the Crows AFLW Home games with a capacity of 22,000 however if the Crows were expecting smaller crowds (against teams with less of a fan base) then they could look at alternative SANFL grounds to host matches.
Prospect Oval, Unley Oval, and Richmond Oval are all close to the city and could be considered. Karen Rolton Oval is as well a left field option to host Adelaide Crows AFLW Matches.
The Lions have not really had a true home for their AFLW existence however construction has just begun on Springfield Stadium which will host all Brisbane Lions AFLW matches from 2022. Moreton Bay Sports Complex, and South Pine Sports Complex have both hosted AFLW matches.
The other option for AFLW venues in Brisbane would be Giffin Park, Coorparoo or the Gabba in later rounds of the season if ready yet.
It’s hard to see the Blues moving from Ikon Park however when Ikon Park undergoes its major redevelopment, Latrobe University’s new AFL Facility might be used to host matches for the interim. Plans are however for Ikon Park to become the home of women’s football in Victoria so it’s looking set to undergo a major transformation.
Collingwood has seemed to scrap playing AFLW matches at Olympic Park Oval (The Holden Centre) and since the 2019 season have been playing their home games at Victoria Park.
Similar to Carlton, I can’t see any chance to this with the spiritual home of the Magpies holding many great memories for Collingwood fans.
Fremantle Oval is holding up alright by hosting AFLW matches however when the WACA’s proposed redevelopment is complete, Freo might consider taking one or two matches to their first AFL home ground.
Similar to Adelaide, Subiaco could have been used for the home of WA female football but will undergo a development instead.
Geelong currently plays matches at GMHBA Stadium however it is a fairly large venue and might be too big for some AFLW matches. Geelong could look at matches at Central Reserve in Colac or at Warn Ponds’ Deakin University to host AFLW matches against less supported AFLW teams.
Gold Coast Suns
The fixture for the 2019 AFLW season isn’t out yet however we have the confirmation that the Suns will play one home game in Mackay and the chance that another match might be taken to Darwin as part of the alignment takeover following Adelaide’s deal finishing at the end of the 2019 AFLW season.
Possible venues for matches for the Suns AFLW season could include Metricon Stadium for marquee matches, Southport’s Fankhauser Reserve, Bond University in Robina or Broadbeach’s Merrimac Oval.
Melbourne currently has 20 more years to go with their deal with the Casey City Council so unless the popularity of AFLW dramatically increases, Melbourne looks set to continue playing AFLW games at the Cranbourne venue.
They might consider though playing matches at the Yarra Park proposed facility or even a match at the MCG?
The NM-TAS Kangaroos look set to play at their spiritual home of Arden Street Oval this season following the completion of the new Broadcast and match day facilities.
UTAS Stadium and North Hobart Oval look set to continue to host matches. The Roos could consider playing a match in country Victoria?
Richmond appear to be playing all their AFLW matches at Punt Road Oval in AFLW 2020. If they wished to shift a match, they could look at playing at match in Bendigo as they have an alignment with the Bendigo Thunder Women’s Football Club.
Football is certainly returning to Moorabbin Oval in 2020 at RSEA Park however alternative venues for the Saints AFLW team include Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Frankston Oval, or the Junction Oval.
By the way, what happened to the Saints facilities in Seaford? Maybe a match down there too would be a good idea.
West Coast Eagles
Lathlain Park is the prime venue to host West Coast AFLW matches in AFLW 2020. Alternative venues could be other WAFL venues and once the WACA redevelopment is finished, the Eagles could look at playing AFL Women’s matches at the WACA to return to their routes.
Every Western Bulldogs AFLW in their history has been held at the Whitten Oval and this looks certain to continue. Mars Stadium could be the only other venue that could host AFLW matches for the Dogs.