I spoke with former Collingwood AFLW player Moana Hope, who’s now with North Melbourne, ahead of the Competition’s first ever season.
It’s history in the making… literally. This weekend eight women’s football teams, as part of the Australian Football League, will take to the field for the first time in the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition.
Never before have women had the opportunity to play footy as part of an elite and national league.
Collingwood’s Moana Hope has fast become a fan favourite with her down-to-earth attitude and family-first values making her relatable to the average female fan. I recently caught up with the 28-year-old forward at an Australian Open tennis clinic, led by the legendary Pat Cash and Emirates.
The thing that struck me about Hope is that these women are just like us. They have jobs from teachers to doctors, midwives, graphic designers to personal trainers and everything in between.
But ultimately there’s one thing they all have in common regardless of their varying backgrounds. That is, they’re all super passionate about growing a game that so many girls love.
I asked Hope what fans have to look forward to in the first ever NAB AFL Women’s Competition.
1. Prepare to be surprised
“I reckon it’s going to surprise because most people haven’t seen it (women’s football) or have expectations of what they think it’ll be. (Then) they go watch and they can’t believe it.”
2. It’s all about the atmosphere
“It’s the big hits, the big marks, the tackles, the goals from everywhere… I think that is just going to make people, especially people that miss football, make them love it.”
3. Talent, talent, talent
“I love playing alongside all of them (teammates). They’re all talented and there’s going to be quite a few surprise packages, because people haven’t seen them play before, or they haven’t been in a spotlight, so I think those players are going to shine.”
“I’m excited to play alongside the likes of Jasmine Garner, Jess Cameron and Sarah D’arcy. That forward line alone, it’s insane.”
4. The mighty Magpie Army
“Everyone has a daughter, or a mum, or a sister, or someone that’s a female who’s inspiring to be an elite athlete within those fields (Collingwood’s AFLW and netball teams). It’s just going to create more women getting behind the club.”
Will you be a part of history this weekend?