Women's Football

A 1947 Sth Melb womens team courtesy of Karen Philips
1947 South Melbourne women's team, courtesy of Karen Philips.

The year was 1947 and a mass of 20,000 spectators filed into Lake Oval to watch South Melbourne. It wasn’t the usual list to represent the Swans, but a team of women selected to play in a round robin competition against St Kilda, Carlton, and Footscray.

The Swans were inundated with phone calls and letters from hundreds of women eager to play, according to the South Melbourne Record newspaper. Appetite for female sport has never faded – only opportunity.

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The QBE Sydney Swans Academy launches a youth girls program for the first time in 2018.

In 2018, the QBE Sydney Swans Academy launched a Youth Girls Program – the first of its kind – to offer elite training for young girls. Three years later the Youth Girl’s Program was expanded to include senior girls, mirroring the long-running boys program. Offering a pipeline of talent for a future Sydney Swans women’s team, it was only natural that in 2022, the Sydney Swans AFLW squad was born.

On June 13, 2022, the Sydney Swans men’s team formed a guard of honour to welcome the club’s women’s team onto the SCG for the first time, ahead of the team’s first training session on the hallowed turf.

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The Sydney Swans AFLW side nab their first ever win against GWS at North Sydney Oval on September 3, 2023.

Just two months later, a crowd of more than 8,000 people gathered at North Sydney Oval for the Sydney Swans historic first AFLW match. While it was a winless first season the team proved both exciting and resilient. Just 12 months later, the Sydney Swans women’s team celebrated its first ever win, beating GWS by five points in their opening round match at North Sydney Oval. With coach Scott Gowans at the helm and a new-look side, the team rose to eighth on the ladder and secured not one, but two finals series appearances.

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