WESTERN Bulldogs president Peter Gordon wants to create a women’s team in Ballarat under the club’s branding.
Mr Gordon has started talks for a Victorian Women’s Football League that reflected Ballarat in some way. How this would look, he said, was very much still in the development process.
The Bulldogs are keen to tap into the booming female football ranks in this region.
This is about inspiration, pathways and strengthening ties between the Bulldogs, City of Ballarat and, more widely, western Victoria.
“We are not just for AFL football and men’s football here in Ballarat. We have women’s football in mind as well,” Mr Gordon said.
“We want opportunities for boys and girls to play at the elite level and we want to bring that from great quality AFL and VFL men’s and women’s football.”
The Bulldogs have committed to play AFL games in Ballarat for five years, including this season.
Mr Gordon said Mars Stadium could be a great venue for the Bulldogs’ AFLW team and this is something the club hoped to pitch for fixturing in the women’s national league. But competition for home games was tough in both AFL and AFLW.
Bulldogs AFLW player Laura Bailey, who hails from Ballarat, said it would be great to one day bring her game for an in-season match to her hometown.
Bailey also plays for St Kilda Sharks in the VFLW but her only time spent on Mars Stadium as a player was with the Bulldogs’ AFLW team spent a pre-season camp in Ballarat last year. This historic AFL match was the first time Bailey had seen Mars Stadium complete. Bailey said she was extremely humbled to be part of the stadium’s opening ceremony – and to see her Ballarat splashed in red, white and blue.