Four Australian Defence Force members have been selected to play in the inaugural AFL national women’s competition next year.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldier Private Kate Lutkins kicks for goal during a match at the ADF Australian Rules Championships in April 2016. Photo by Nunu Campos.
Lieutenant Clare Lawton from Townsville was selected by Greater Western Sydney.
Private Kate Lutkins from Brisbane has been chosen to play for the Brisbane Lions.
Private Heather Anderson from Darwin and Able Seaman Rhiannon Metcalfe from Canberra will both play for the Adelaide Crows.
“This is an exceptional achievement and the result of a lot of hard work,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
“Such success is a testament to both the women concerned and the ADF Australian Rules Association, which has provided important mentoring and support.
“I wish Kate, Heather, Rhiannon and Clare all the best as they prepare for the 2017 season.”
The AFL says players in the national women’s league are not professional, full-timeers – they are part-time athletes who will be given access to AFL facilities, coaches and player development programs.
“Their training and match requirements will be planned in advance with every measure possible being put in place to avoid impacting work or study commitments,” the AFL web site says.
AFL Commissioner and the ADF Australian Rules Women’s patron Major General Simone Wilkie said the selection of the ADF women was an outstanding result.
“I am proud to see these four women selected in the AFLW draft and to be ranked with the best in the nation,” Major General Wilkie said.
“This is a fantastic result for them individually and a watershed moment for ADF elite sportswomen to compete in a national football league.”
ADF Australian Rules Women’s program manager and coach Lieutenant Colonel Dani Glatz said the selection of four members reflected the depth of AFL talent among ADF women.
“There are hundreds of Defence women playing our national sport throughout all of the State leagues,” Lieutenant Colonel Glatz said.
“The ADF Australian Rules Association is deeply passionate about ensuring there are opportunities for our women to achieve their full potential and supporting them in pursuing these opportunities.
“We look forward to seeing these four women making a major contribution for their respective AFL clubs and equally look forward to supporting the ADF women who follow in their footsteps in the future.”
The AFL National Women’s competition commences in February 2017..