Ashleigh Brazill on kicking new goals for women’s football

The Collingwood Magpies recruit can’t wait for the action when the AFLW starts on February 2.

After a thrilling inaugural AFLW competition, this season is tipped to be just as electrifying, with some fresh faces and even bigger crowds expected.

One of those new faces is Ashleigh Brazill, who will pull on her boots for the Collingwood Magpies when the season starts on February 2, 2018.

After watching the inaugural AFLW game between Carlton and Collingwood from the stands last year, she can’t wait to finally get out on the ground.

“I’m excited and I just want it to happen already,” Ashleigh says.

Magpies’ passion crosses codes

While it might be her AFLW debut, it isn’t the first time Ashleigh, 28, has represented the Collingwood club at an elite level.

An Australian netball representative, Ashleigh is also a member of the Collingwood Magpies netball team and will return to the court when her AFLW commitments end.

It’s a dual sporting commitment that was made possible this year due to the Commonwealth Games pushing the Super Netball schedule back.

However, it’s been a herculean effort for Ashleigh this summer to get fit as training for both sports commenced last November.

“It’s just managing the time,” Ashleigh says.

“It’s challenging, and something I definitely need to watch with my body, but being with one club I get monitored, which is good for me.” 

It’s all in the numbers

Aussies rules enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever last year, with a record 1.54 million participants in the sport.

The expansion of the sport can largely be attributed to the success of the AFLW, which drew big crowds across the country and generated impressive TV ratings throughout the season.

 

30% of all participants in football are women and there are 1690 dedicated female teams.

 

In fact, female involvement across all areas of the sport has never been better. The introduction of the AFLW has had the flow-on effect of improving general female participation across the board, accounting for 30 per cent of all AFL participants.

There were 1690 female teams recorded in the past year, a massive 76 per cent jump from 2016.

This year’s AFLW season is played over seven rounds and entry is free to all games except the Round 2 match in Perth.

The competition will stick with the existing eight clubs this year, with Geelong and North Melbourne set to join in 2019.

For more information on AFL Womens, visit womens.afl

Lead image: Jay Town/Newspix
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