Historic day for the Grafton Tigers

Action from last season's Women's match in Grafton. Photo: Debra Novak, Grafton Daily Examiner


The Grafton Tigers are on the dawn of a new era when a Women’s team takes to the field for the first time on Saturday.

Although a Women’s match was played at Ellem Oval last year the players in that team came from across the North Coast with only two Grafton locals flying the flag. Saturday’s match will see a team of Women from across the Clarence Valley band together to play against the Coffs Harbour Breakers in a demonstration match that is designed to give local ladies the chance to sample AFL.

To mark the historic occasion the Tigers Women will take to the field sporting a playing strip that features the iconic yellow and black colours, but also has a dash of pink to celebrate the ladies.

James Hourigan, President of the Grafton Tigers said that all at the club are excited to welcome the ladies into the fold. “We’ve seen what a positive impact Women’s footy has on established clubs like ours and we can’t wait to see local ladies playing for the Tigers. The response has been phenomenal and we already have 16 Women who have committed to play.”

Two skills development sessions have already been held and the transition from sports such as Hockey, Netball, Soccer, and Rugby has been surprisingly easy for the ladies.

Vienna Schoeffel, AFL NSW/ACT Women’s Footy Champion, has been running the skill development sessions and said the women are learning quickly. “None of the players have a background in AFL but they’re picking up the skills really quickly and are loving the extra physicality that isn’t part of most other sports. They can’t wait to play in the demonstration match and put what they’ve learnt into practice and are looking forward to seeing other ladies join in over the coming weeks.”

The match is at Ellem Oval (Prince Street, Grafton) starting at 1:30pm. There’s no cost to play and any woman aged 16 or older is welcome to join in.

For those that aren’t quite ready to cross the white line there’s no cost to spectate and a full canteen service will be available. Two further demonstration matches are planned on Saturday 2 June and Saturday 14 July so those that catch the bug can get their AFL career underway.

For more information on Women’s AFL in the Clarence Valley see the attached flyer or contact the AFL Northern NSW office (6659 6000, aflwnorthcoast@gmail.com).