The Youth Girls team will be open to all girls aged between 13 and 18 regardless of experience, and Colts President Tony Linford told The Warragul Citizen the team could be in competition as soon as April.
“The exact date the girls will start playing is unknown at this stage as AFL Victoria has not yet released the schedule, but I would suggest some time around April 2013 we would see the girls take to the ground for Round 1,” Mr Linford said.
Girls play with boys in the Colts’ under 14 and a half team, but once they are too old for the team options become limited.
“The Warragul Colts were first approached last year when two of our current girls were playing their last year in the under 14 and half side,” Mr Linford said.
“The girls cannot progress into higher age groups with the boys and must find an all-girl’s side to play in. Unfortunately there are not many in the Gippsland area.
“The girls did play in a six-round Gippsland Youth Girls side last year which they very much enjoyed.”
AFL Victoria plan to create a Youth Girls team in every regional area of Victoria.
The Colts’ new team has already had significant public interest.
“The response so far has been fantastic,” Mr Linford said.
“We have spoken to local politicians who are very excited about this and are throwing their support behind the team.
“We have already had responses from friends of club officials wanting to come and play and I am sure the public will be very supportive of this initiative.”
The introduction of the new team coincides with the club’s 50 year anniversary of involvement in junior football in Warragul.
“This is a perfect time to introduce the Youth Girls Side,” Mr Linford said.
The team is presently searching for a coach and sponsors.
“Jumpers and equipment need to be purchased, so we welcome anyone who would love to get on board and support this great initiative for the West Gippsland region,” Mr Linford said.
The Youth Girls Football Competition was established in 2004 and presently features 39 teams in 6 separate competitions.