AFLW expansion: Season to start in December, four more clubs soon


• The AFLW will consist of 18 teams when season eight starts in late 2023

All 18 AFL clubs will have a NAB AFLW team by the end of 2023, with the AFL Commission throwing the doors open to expansion and bringing the start of the season forward to December, it was announced yesterday.

The next AFLW season will begin in December this year to give the 10-round competition clear air and prevent an overlap with the AFL competition, with the Grand Final to be held in mid-March, 2022.

But that season – also known as season six – will still be contested by the existing 14 AFLW teams.

The clubs without AFLW teams – Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Sydney – have now been invited to submit proposals by July 9 as to why they should be included as early as season seven, which is likely to start at the end of 2022, with details to be worked through.

After its beginnings as an eight-team competition in 2017, the AFLW will consist of 18 teams when season eight starts in late 2023.

North Melbourne and Geelong joined in 2019, with Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast added the following year.

AFLW season timelines

Season five – January-April, 2021
Season six – December 2021-March 2022
Season seven – Late 2022 start
Season eight – Late 2023 start

AFL TV broadcast rights are currently held by Seven and Foxtel.

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