Cannons front and centre in Bombers’ VWFL dreams


Essendon’s push towards gaining an AFLW licence is growing stronger, with the club announcing its intentions to field a VWFL side for the 2018 season.

And the Calder Cannons Youth Girls Academy Program is set to play a big part in the Bombers’ plans.

Essendon’s VWFL team will train and play at the Cannons’ home ground – Rams Arena in Craigieburn - as part of an initiative to establish the Bombers as the AFLW’s resident north western suburbs club, with a close connection with the Cannons a key part of their plan.

“An Essendon VFL team supports the club’s influence on the football pathway, from grassroots to our future AFLW team,” CEO Xavier Campbell told Bombers media.

“Our VFL Women’s team will provide an important aspiration for local girls playing junior football and our home grown talent will now be able to continue their football pathway locally at Highgate Reserve.”

With the closest VWFL teams a significant distance away from the Craigieburn area, the region’s most talented female footballers have in the past been forced to travel to further their football dreams.

But according to Cannons’ talent manager Ian Kyte, the introduction of a local VWFL team will allow the next generation of stars to ply their trade closer to home.

“For female athletes and talent in the Calder region, this will now complete the pathway and provide a team at their back door where they can aspire to reach the highest level as professional footballers,” Kyte said.

Cannons’ star Georgia Patrikios has already been heavily involved with the Bombers’ push, having featured heavily in the Bombers’ campaign for an AFLW licence, which was launched in June.

With potentially only two new positions available in the competition for the 2019 season, the Bombers aren’t yet assured of their spot, but Campbell is bullish about the club’s chances.

“We feel confident in our submission [and] we feel confident in the process we put in place to build our submission,” Campbell told the Herald Sun.

There’s great anticipation around an AFLW licence and hopefully entering the competition in 2019. I feel like we’d be really well supported from the get-go. We feel with that alone that we can help grow the game of girls’ football across the country.”

And with the club fully committed to entering the VWFL with or without an AFLW team to join them, Calder fans can look forward to seeing the Bombers and the Cannons working together in 2018.

“It is with great excitement that everyone at the Calder Cannons looks forward to seeing the black and red sash of the Essendon Football Club take the field in the 2018 VFLW Season as a precursor to gaining an AFLW license,” Kyte said.

The Bombers made their final pitch to the AFL on July 28. 




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