Limestone Coast AFLW League proposing U/16 competition

The Limestone Coast Women's League has gone from strength-to-strength since its inception.

The momentous growth of the league's senior competition over the last two seasons has seen it recently push to introduce an U/16 girls' competition this summer.

Although the competition hasn't been officially confirmed, the league is currently calling for expressions of interest to see whether it could sustain a junior competition.

SANFL's football operations coordinator for the South East, Michael Mourbey, said a lot of work has been done to figure out whether the region was willing or able to have a junior competition.

"During the past 12 months we have gone to a number of local schools to talk to some of the younger girls and we believe there is enough interest for a competition to be formed," Mr Mourbey said.

Mr Mourbey said he will be checking in with SANFL's regional football coordinator, Ian Perryman, to figure out the amount of girls who have put their hands up for the upcoming season.

He stated if a large amount of interest is shown for the U/16 competition, the feedback will likely result in the league having to work through a new way to structure the competition.

One of the major changes to the senior competition will see the season start earlier, with the first round set to kick-off next month.

The proposed fixture would see teams play four games before Christmas, a change to the last couple of seasons where the competition commenced at the start of the year.

Mr Mourbey said teams will have a break over the Christmas period and January, before finishing in March.

He stated the format change has been prompted by a survey conducted at the end of last season.

"The feedback that we got from all the players and the clubs is that they wanted to play each other once, I guess rather than have a compromised draw where they didn't play each other once each," Mr Mourbey said.

"But of course to actually fit in with 11 clubs, to fit in the 11 rounds, means that we were struggling after Christmas to do it."

At this stage, he expects the proposed U/16 competition to run concurrently with the senior grade, as it seems like the most logical way to structure the competition.

The upcoming season will see the introduction and loss of one team, with Kongorong to take West-Port's place in the competition.

Mr Mourbey said they will hopefully know more about the proposed U/16 competition in the next week, stating he is excited to implement a junior grade that allows for a natural pathway into the senior competition.