AFL Goldfields female playing stocks are poised to double next season.
Regional operations manager Aaron Nunn is predicting up to 50 teams competing across seniors, youth girls under-18s and under-12s.
The Goldfields had 21 in three divisions this year – five in the first year of a Goldfields senior competition as part of the Victorian Women’s Football League, 12 in youth girls and four in the inaugural under-12 season.
Redan played in VWFL division one.
Nunn said a boom in the participation rate and a restructure of Victoria’s female football pathway would result in growth at all three levels.
He said under the restructure, which would have community competitions replacing VWFL, AFL Goldfields would take in AFL Barwon teams.
Nunn predicts 12 to 13 clubs will play in the senior competition, with Sunbury, Melton Centrals, North Geelong and Redan joining East Point, Lake Wendouree, Bacchus Marsh and the Maryborough Castlemaine District from the Goldfields division, and then bolstered by new clubs.
He expects the under-12s to be divided into two divisions based on location, with Bacchus Marsh, Melton, Sunbury and Gisborne likely to each field one or two teams.
Nunn said it was an exciting time for the sport, which was taking huge steps forward.
He said the Goldfields had been one of the most progressive regions in the development of female football and the pathway restructure would complement and enhance what was already in place.
Nunn said the formation of an under-12 competition last season had been one of big success stories of this year.
He said seeing the number of spectators at the grand final had been unbelievable.
In keeping with the growth of the game for females, AFL Goldfields is preparing to appoint its first female football manager to be responsible for the promotion, development and operation of female football competitions across the region.
The make up of competitions under the new pathway structures are not expected to be finalised until early in the new year.