The AFLW competition has been around for five years now, but it still has been up and down with the media coverage.
The Inner Sanctum Spoke with North Melbourne forward Sophie Abbatangelo about the coverage of the AFLW and how it could improve.
“I haven’t seen too much of it, I don’t watch much TV because I’ve got two kids so I’m very busy. I don’t think there’s very much this year, which is kind of disappointing,” Abbatangelo told The Inner Sanctum.
“There is a lot on social media but that’s just AFLW and what club you follow, so for me North Melbourne social media, but I haven’t seen much of it or heard much of it, I don’t know if that’s just because of COVID, I hope that’s the reason.”
So, what needs to change? Abbatangelo has a few ideas.
“More to the air or on radio, I’d like to see it on television ads in the middle of the cricket or something like that,” she said.
“I haven’t really thought about it but has to improve, I feel like last year there was a lot leading into it, and the first season for me I saw a lot of it. I don’t know if I was just looking for it more.
“I feel like this year there is absolutely nothing, and I get asked when I’m out ‘oh, when’s your season starting?’ and I’m like ‘next week’. It’s not out there as much as it should be.”
The attention in the AFLW is vital to the competition’s future.
Nowadays, girls are coming out of high school and are drafted to AFL clubs, but in 2016 when the first draft took place the age bracket was a lot higher.
“There’s a few youngsters coming out of high school and I love sitting there and asking them what’s it like to play professional footballer straight out of high school.” Abbatangelo said.
AFLW is also impacting the stereotype that AFL is just for boys with the young girls and boys starting at Auskick level won’t know any different.
“I mean my son Hendrix, he did do the Auskick and he doesn’t know any different, like there’s girls playing everywhere, he’s not going to grow up and be like wow, girls playing football.
“Whereas at my age, seeing a girl playing football was just oh wow there’s a girl in the team, it’s just a boy and girl sport now.”
“Seeing that change is great too. Even when I go down to the park, I see girls kicking the footy with their dads and it was just awesome and such a progression, obviously going to lead into the next generation.”