(Australian Associated Press)
The AFLW is ambitiously hoping to jump from no women’s head coaches in the league this year to nine by 2030.
In a bold new 2021-2030 plan released by the AFL on Wednesday, the league is also aiming to have its players paid better than any other domestic women’s competition in Australia.
For the upcoming sixth edition of AFLW, all 14 coaches will be men after St Kilda’s Peta Searle was replaced by Saints great Nick Dal Santo.
Bec Goddard, who coached Adelaide to the inaugural AFLW premiership in 2017, will lead Hawthorn in 2023 when the Hawks enter the competition.
As part of the plan, the AFL will introduce a new program where six women will be fast-tracked to become coaches.
AFLW boss Nicole Livingstone admits there needs to be a change in how football attacked trying to have women in coaching and leadership.
“Women can coach, we know women can coach but they need to be afforded the opportunity and they need to be supported,” Livingstone said.
“Women that are coaching can actually immerse themselves in the business of coaching.
“The hope is that it becomes sustainable and the women that come through this first crop then go into the system employed and we’re able to bring the next crop through to be able to continue that legacy.”
Livingstone wants AFLW players to be paid the highest out of any women’s competition, on average, by 2030.
“Five seasons in and our AFLW competition has made great headway, however we have much work to do,” Livingstone said.
“Our mission remains to accelerate the growth of the AFLW economy to create greater opportunities on and off the field for our best women players and administrators.”
The 2022 season will get underway on January 7 when St Kilda host Richmond under lights in Frankston.
It will be the last before the AFLW matches the men’s competition with all 18 clubs involved as Hawthorn, Essendon, Port Adelaide and the Sydney Swans join for 2023.