THE schedule for the 2023 Women’s AFL season has been confirmed with blockbusters galore for the Brisbane Lions.
The Lions embark on their first full season at Brighton Homes Arena, with five home games at their new purpose-built $80 million facility.
The Lions will face Richmond, Sydney, Collingwood, Adelaide and Melbourne at home with the marquee Saturday night game against Collingwood in Round 6 under lights and a Grand Final rematch in Round 10 against the Demons at the Springfield venue.
Head of Lions Women’s football, Breeanna Brock, said the team want to make their new home a fortress.
“To finally have a place to call home is pretty special and we are really looking forward to filling it with our supporters and really making Springfield our home,” Brock said.
“We’ve been a nomadic club for a while so to showcase our new facility to our members and fans is such a milestone for us.
“The team has had a strong pre-season and they’re roaring to rip in.
“We have some great opponents travelling up here and we’ll get to test ourselves against some of the best in the competition.”
In a season of firsts, the Lions travel to Tasmania to take on the North Melbourne Tasmanian Kangaroos in Launceston and will also play Port Adelaide and Sydney for the first time.
It all kicks off for Brisbane in Round 1 when the Lions hosting Richmond on September 3 for Sunday afternoon football in what promises to be an enthralling contest.
The first game under lights on the Lions’ home turf will come in Round 3 against Sydney in a Sunday evening special.
A total of five away games including the QClash will have the Lions travelling to Adelaide in Round 2 to take on Port Adelaide, Melbourne twice to tackle Hawthorn and St Kilda in Rounds 5 and 9.
The 2023 fixture includes an inaugural trip to Tasmania’s Launceston to take on North Melbourne in Round 4.
A Round 8 match up against long-time rivals Adelaide at Brighton Homes Arena completes a jam-packed draw as the Lions look to more success in 2023.
The AFL was engaged in length negotiations before releasing the draw.
Reports indicated players were keen on a fixture length of 12 rounds or more in the journey towards a full-time professional competition. But the AFL Players’ Association agreed to a 10-week season to provide certainty for players but provide the platform for future negotiations to expand the season length in the next few years.
“While the 18 clubs have been working towards key dates, it was important to reach an agreement with the Players’ Association and not delay the fixture any further to provide certainty to players, clubs and fans,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.
Ultimately, AFLW players are seeking full-time contracts and a 17-game season — where every club would play each other once — in future years.
The Player’s Association’s boss Paul Marsh stressed negotiations between his union and the AFL “remain ongoing” and while “progress has been made in recent weeks… there is still much work to be done.”
Every match will be broadcast live on Fox Footy, in high definition.