Women AFL team has been accepted into elite ranks

SPEEDY RISE: Women's team also took to local sporting fields last year in the local Big Rivers football competition after an upsurge in popularity. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.

SPEEDY RISE: Women's team also took to local sporting fields last year in the local Big Rivers football competition after an upsurge in popularity. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.

Katherine women will be playing footy at a level never experienced before.

The Big Rivers Hawks have been accepted into the Women's Premier League which is the elite level competition playing during the wet season.

Most weekends this season, the women will be on the road for the Darwin-based competition similar to the Under 18's girls and boys.

Women's AFL footy took to local sporting fields last year in the local Big Rivers football competition after an upsurge in popularity.

More than 70 girls and women signed on to take part in tough weekly training sessions to compete last season.

AFL Northern Territory has received written notification from the Tiwi Bombers Football Club that it has withdrawn its own application to enter a team into the 2019/20 TIO NTFL Women's Premier League competition.

The Big River Hawks application has been wholly endorsed by the AFLNT Executive, and plans are now progressing to complete the fixtures and competition set up for a 10-team division.

It is the first time a team from Katherine will be included in the NTFL's senior women's grade.

The letter from the Tiwi Bombers cited financial responsibility as the main reason why the club chose to withdraw its expression.

The Bombers had initially sought a six-game trial, but the AFLNT Executive had requested they model their interest on a 10-game trial, to not impact the fairness or structural integrity of the Women's Premier League competition.

The Bombers said they will move to consolidate their financial position this season and would look to apply for a Women's Premier League team next season.

AFLNT CEO Stuart Totham said it was a sensible decision at the present time.

"We commend the Tiwi Bombers board and management for making the difficult but responsible decision to withdraw its application for a women's' team for the 2019/20 TIO NTFL season. While we all would have loved to have seen a women's team from the islands, it remains imperative that AFLNT encourages strong NTFL clubs and fosters a healthy competition.

"They've done a lot of the ground work and have laid the foundations so that hopefully next year they will be successful in progressing their vision.

"In exciting news, we welcome the Big River Hawks to the TIO NTFL Women's Premier League competition. The local women's footy in Katherine keeps building each year, and we're looking forward to seeing it get stronger off the back of their entry into the NTFL," he said.

The 2019/20 TIO NTFL Women's Premier League fixtures can now be completed and will be released later this week.

This story Katherine's women's AFL team accepted into elite ranks first appeared on Katherine Times.