Victorian Women's Football League

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Victorian Women's Football League
Most recent season or competition:
2016 VWFL season
Victorian Women's Football League logo.jpg
SportWomen's Australian rules football
Inaugural season1981
Replaced byVFL Women's
No. of teams31
HeadquartersMelbourne, Australia
Most recent
Deer Park Lions (2016)
Most titlesScorpions (11)
TV partner(s)C31
Official websiteVictorian Women's Football League
The rucks reach for the ball after the umpire (in orange) has balled it up. Taken at the 2005 VWFL Division 1 Grand Final - Melbourne University MUGARS (black and blue) def. Darebin Falcons.
Melbourne University player jostles for best position in a marking contest.
Darebin Falcons Player is wrapped up in a gang tackle by two Melbourne University opponents in the 2006 WVFL senior women's Grand Final. The field umpire (in orange) is about to signal "holding the ball" to penalise Darebin and award Melbourne University a free kick.

The Victorian Women's Football League (VWFL) was the oldest and largest Australian rules football league for women in the world, consisting of 47 clubs from Victoria, Australia across seven divisions and a total of over 1,000 players.[1]

The VWFL complied with the laws of Australian football. The official ball, a Sherrin, used by the VWFL, was a custom-made size 4.5 ball.


The Victorian Women's Football League was formed in 1981 with four teams competing at open level.

In 1995, Sal Rees caused controversy for applying for the 1995 AFL Draft. The nomination was voided, and the draft rules were amended by the AFL to prevent a repeat of this incident.

The VWFL grew quickly, increasing dramatically the number of players and participating teams with a Division 3 added in 2001.

In 2002 VWFL player Debbie Lee made headlines for pushing to play against men in the made-for-television team the Hammerheads. She has commented, "My whole idea with the Hammerheads was to promote women's football. At no point in time did I really think I was going to play against the men, and frankly it wouldn't really have been smart for me to do that. My whole idea was to cause a bit of activity."

An U17 Youth Girls Competition was established by Football Victoria in 2004 primarily to provide a pathway to the VWFL. This was following legal action taken against them in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (following a complaint to the Equal Opportunity Commission) by junior players Penny Cula-Reid, Emily Stayner, and Helen Taylor.

In May 2004 the first VWFL game was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with the Melbourne Uni MUGARS defeating St Albans SPURS on Mother's Day. A second game was played at the G later in the same year featuring Melbourne Uni MUGARS against the St Kilda SHARKS reserves teams.

In 2005 the VWFL celebrated its 25th birthday and created a reserves competition for Division 1.

In 2006, the league posted a $6000 loss, however this was turned around in 2007 with a $19000 profit being posted at the end of 2007. 2007 saw five divisions (Premier seniors & reserves, North West, South East & Country) and 27 teams (from 20 clubs), and culminated in an Australian crowd record for women's Australian rules football at the 2007 Grand Final held on 19 August at the Preston City Oval in Melbourne. Two finals matches were also held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the first time.

The work done by the VWFL Media Manager Leesa Catto was instrumental in increasing media coverage across the competition. A significant partnership was negotiated with the Leader News group and weekly coverage was captured across the Melbourne Metropolitan area. Events like the participation of two VWFL players Shannon McFerran and Daisy Pearce in the E. J. Whitten Legends Game also helped lift the profile of the league.[2]

The VFLW integrated into AFL Victoria in 2013.[1] At the end of the 2016 season, it was announced that the forty-seven clubs and sixty teams of the VFLW would join ten Victorian community leagues in 2017, along with additional clubs and teams from a further eighty clubs that had expressed interest in joining women's Australian football competitions.[3][4] AFL Victoria would retain management of the ten-team VFL Women's league, with the remainder of the expected 150 teams to play in regional leagues.[5][1]

Media coverage[edit]

In 2010 VWFL media coverage was captured across a range of mediums including;

Herald Sun, The Age, Leader, Star news & Fairfax Community Network
Sunrise, Channel 31
774 ABC Melbourne, 3AW, SEN 1116


Premier Division

Club Nickname Location Coach Captain
Cranbourne WFC Eagles Cranbourne, Victoria Kris Smith Ashleigh Fennell
Darebin Women's Sports Club Falcons Preston, Victoria Jane Lange Daisy Pearce
Diamond Creek WFC Creekers Plenty, Victoria Tanya Hetherington Steph Chiocci
Eastern WFC Devils Mulgrave, Victoria Brendan Major Jess Foster and Meg Hutchins
Geelong Magpies Geelong, Victoria Steve Jannsen Shannon Knox and Jaime Woollett
Knox Falcons Wantirna, Victoria Clint Martin Melissa Kuys
Melbourne University Mugars Parkville, Victoria Andrew Jago Alicia Eva, Ellie Blackburn, Elyce Hay, Emma Kearney, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Madeline Keryk and Catherine O'Bryan
Seaford Tigerettes Seaford, Victoria Brett Alexander Kim Ebb and Jessica Boyd
St Kilda WFC Sharks St Kilda, Victoria Shaun Smith Penny Cula-Reid
VU Western Spurs St Albans, Victoria Matt Russell Bree White

Division 1

  • Bendigo
  • Cranbourne FC
  • Darebin
  • Diamond Creek
  • Eastern Devils
  • Knox
  • Melbourne Uni
  • North Geelong
  • Seaford FNC

Division 2

  • La Trobe Uni
  • Motmorency FC
  • Pascoe Vale
  • Port Melbourne Colts
  • Redan FNC
  • St Albans Spurs
  • Whitehorse

Division 3

  • Bayswater Football Club
  • Cranbourne Football Club
  • Deer Park
  • Endeavour Hills FC
  • Kew Football Club
  • Mordialloc FC
  • Seaford FNC
  • St Kilda

Division 4

  • Brunswick Renegades
  • Chirnside Park FC
  • Fitzroy-ACU
  • Hallam Football Club
  • Melbourne University
  • Port Melbourne Colts
  • South Morang FC

East Division

  • AFL Gippsland
  • Ajax FC
  • Bulleen Templestowe AFC
  • Endeavour Hills FC
  • Knox FC
  • Motmorency FC
  • Rosebud FC
  • Seville Ranges FFC

West Division

  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Jacana Football Club
  • Kyneton FC
  • Manor Lakes
  • Melton Centrals
  • Sunbury Lions WFC

Facts and figures[edit]

Division One/Premier Division[edit]

Year Premier Helen Lambert Medal - Best & Fairest Rohenna Young Medal - Leading goal kicker Lisa Hardeman Medal - Best on ground in GF
2016 Deer Park Emma Grant (Bendigo) Bella Ayre (Bendigo) Darcy Vescio (Darebin)
2015 Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Moana Hope (St Kilda) Darcy Vescio (Darebin)
2014 Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Moana Hope (St Kilda)
2013 Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Stephanie Brown (Berwick)
2012 Diamond Creek Lou Wotton (East Burwood) Amy CatTerall 39 (VU-St Albans) Kirsty Lamb (Diamond Creek)
2011 VU-St Albans Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Sarah D'Arcy 51 (East Burwood) Karen Paxman (VU-St Albans)
2010 Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) & Lou Wotton (East Burwood) Jane Lange 52 (Darebin) Aasta O'Connor (Darebin)
2009 Darebin Daisy Pearce (Darebin) Brittney Grech 58 (Diamond Creek) Daisy Pearce (Darebin)
2008 Darebin Cecilia McIntosh (Melbourne Uni) Moana Hope 63 (Darebin)
2007 Darebin Shannon McFerran (St Albans) Moana Hope 67 (Darebin)
2006 Darebin Shannon McFerran (St Albans) Moana Hope 74 (Darebin)
2005 Melbourne University Shannon McFerran (St Albans) Rebecca Jennings 45 (Melbourne Uni) Daisy Pearce
2004 St Albans Megan Hutchins (Deakin Uni) Rohenna Young 65 (St Albans) Debbie Lee (St Albans)
2003 Melbourne University Shannon McFerran (St Albans) Nic Lalor (Deakin Uni)
2002 Melbourne University Shannon McFerran (St Albans)
2001 Parkside Magpies Debbie Lee (St Albans) Rohenna Young (Parkside)
2000 Parkside Magpies Sharron Bonnici (St Kilda City)
1999 St Kilda Sharron Bonnici (St Kilda City)
1998 St Kilda Sharron Bonnici (St Kilda City)
1997 Albion Cats Bronwyn Hutchinson (Fairfield)
1996 Darebin (Fairfield) Debbie Lee (St Albans)
1995 Northcote Park Scorpions Debbie Lee (St Albans)
1994 East Brunswick Scorpions Debbie Lee (St Albans) & Doreen de Pasquale (St Kilda City)
1993 East Brunswick Scorpions Debbie Lee (St Albans)
1992 Ballarat Lions Kris Gardner (Fairfiled)
1991 East Brunswick Scorpions Bronwyn Hutchinson (Ballarat) Debbie Lee (East Brunswick)
1990 Ballarat Eagles Rhonda Rumler (Ballarat)
1989 Parkville Scorpions Lisa Hardeman (Parkville)
1988 Parkville Scorpions Doreen de Pasquale (Ballart) & Bernie Marantelli (Parkville)
1987 Parkville Scorpions Bernie Marantelli (Parkville)
1986 Gladstone Park Burra Tracey Winch (Furntree Gully)
1985 Aberfeldie Scorpions Siobhan Taylor (Gladstone Park)
1984 Aberfeldie Scorpions Maree Cave (Broadmeadows)
1983 Dingley Cobras Maree Cave (Broadmeadows)
1982 Broadmeadows Scorpions
1981 Broadmeadows Scorpions

Premier Reserves[edit]

Year Premier Fraser Griffiths Medal Leading Goal Kicker Best on Ground in Grand Final
2012 VU-St Albans Rachael Gullo (VU-St Albans) Lauren Chalkey 19 (Berwick) Rachael Gullo (VU-St Albans)
2011 Darebin Natasha Hardy (Sunbry) Melissa Beadles 24 (East Burwood) Gemma Anderson (Darebin)
2010 Darebin Belinda Bowey (St Kilda) Rebecca Hickmont 31 (Darebin) Laura Cartledge (East Burwood)
2009 Darebin Rebecca Hickmont (Darebin)
2008 East Burwood Kristy Baeffel (St Kilda)
2007 Darebin Luisa Callegari (Darebin)
2006 St Kilda Jessica Williams (Melbourne Uni) Ivanna Hern (St Kilda)
2005 Melbourne University Jessica Williams (Melbourne Uni)

Premiers: North West Conference[edit]

2012 Bendigo
2011 La Trobe Uni
2010 Sunbury Lions
2009 Sunbury Lions
2008 Heidelberg Tigers
2007 Hadfield Hawks
2006 Diamond Creek Demons

Premiers: South East Conference[edit]

2012 Hallam Hawks
2011 Hallam Hawks
2010 South Mornington Tigerettes
2009 Scoresby Magpies
2008 Scoresby Magpies
2007 Yarra Valley Cougars
2007 Eastern Lions
2006 Berwick Wickers

Premiers: Country Conference[edit]

2007 Melton Centrals
2006 Geelong Cheetahz

Premiers: Division Two[edit]

2005 Lalor Bloods
2004 St Kilda Sharks
2003 Melbourne University Mugars
2002 East Geelong Eagles
2001 Hadfield Hawks
2000 North Heidelberg Bulldogs
1997 St Kilda Sharks

Premiers: Division Three[edit]

2006 Yarra Valley Cougars
2005 Yarra Valley Cougars
2005 Diamond Creek Demons
2004 Berwick Wickers
2003 Surrey Park Panthers
2002 Mordialloc Redbacks
2001 Ferntree Gully Kangaroos

VWFL Life Members[edit]

2009 Leesa Catto
2009 Bron McGorlick
2008 Kerryn Stephen
2006 Chyloe Kurdas
2005 Di Smith
2004 Belinda Bowey
2003 Sally Rees, Rohenna Young
2002 Debbie Lee, Kerry Saunders
2001 Nicole Graves
2000 Lisa Hardeman (Who the premier div best on ground medal is named after)
1999 Ann Rulton (who the Volunteer Award is named after)
1998 Julie Allen
1997 Dianne Vaux
1996 Bernadette Marantelli
1995 Coral White
1990 Jan Wilson, Janet Graham
1983 Helen Lambert (who the Premier div Best and Fairest is named after - she is also the founding President of the League)

250 Games (as at end of 2011)[edit]

Debbie Lee (VU-St Albans Spurs)
Kerry Saunders (Darebin Falcons/St Kilda City)
Belinda Bowey (St Kilda Sharks/Keysborough)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Olle, Sarah (8 November 2016). "AFL Women's: AFL Victoria releases control of local leagues, will create more football jobs". Fox Sports. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  2. ^ Gliddon, Greg (14 June 2007). "McFerran to join the greats". Leader Community Newspapers. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Siren Sounds on VWFL - Victorian Women's Football League". SportsTG. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  4. ^ Choahan, Neelima (26 February 2017). "Girls-only football teams on the rise after the launch of AFLW". The Age. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  5. ^ "2017 Swisse VFL Women's Fixture - VFL - SportsTG". SportsTG. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.

External links[edit]