Video on the EFC site, follow the link. Some key bits bolded below. As previously suggested, this will to some extent take the timeslot of the killed VFL reserves competition.
Essendon Football Club is pleased to announce it will field a team in the VFL Women’s competition for the 2018 season.
AFL Victoria announced the Bombers will join Casey Demons, Carlton, Collingwood, Richmond, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs and Williamstown in the expanded competition next year.
CEO, Xavier Campbell, said this was an important opportunity to demonstrate the Club’s commitment to growing the game of women’s football.
“The dream of female footballers playing for the Essendon Football Club is now a reality,” Campbell said.
“We are fully committed to growing, developing and investing in aspiring young female footballers, and more broadly the game of women’s football.
“Our VFLW program will provide a pathway for women from North-West Melbourne, the Tiwi Islands and West Arnhem Land to continue their journey towards playing at the elite level.”
To ensure there is a complete pathway for aspiring young players, the Club has established a partnership with the Calder Cannons. The partnership is designed to unearth emerging talent, while also developing local women’s leagues in North-West Melbourne.
The VFLW team will be based and train out of the Club’s Melbourne Airport headquarters, while also holding regular training sessions at Highgate Reserve in Craigieburn.
Wearing the famous red sash, the team will play games at both the Bombers’ spiritual home of Windy Hill, as well as Highgate Reserve.
The Club is exploring the option of the VFLW team playing curtain raisers at AFL games, as well as hosting double headers featuring the VFL and VFLW teams throughout next season.
Campbell confirmed a key focus of the VFLW side would be its strong footprint at the grassroots level.
“The VFLW will provide a complete pathway to state league football from the Calder Cannons program and developing local women’s leagues in the North West corridor of Melbourne.
“We are committed to providing a positive contribution to the development of the game at a grassroots level. Our VFLW team will also train and play at Highgate Reserve in Craigieburn, and when the fixture allows our VFLW players will return to play for their local Clubs.
“It’s important players from our men’s and women’s football programs are positive role models in the community, and we believe working with young players is an important step in inspiring the next generation of AFLW players.”
Campbell said the Club would move quickly on the following key priorities;
Fill the position of Head Coach (Application process is now open)
Work closely with AFL Victoria to identify talented players from the local region.
Host an Alternative Talent Combine Day at EFC.