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East Fremantle investigating Mid West female talent academy, pathway to WAFL-W

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
The Great Northern Football League's Harry Taylor, centre, with East Fremantle president Mark Stewart, left, and director Con Tripi at the 2021 GNFL season launch.
Camera IconThe Great Northern Football League's Harry Taylor, centre, with East Fremantle president Mark Stewart, left, and director Con Tripi at the 2021 GNFL season launch. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian, Reuben Carder

East Fremantle are hoping to have an academy set up in the Mid West in time for next WAFL season and create a pathway for female players from the region.

President Mark Stewart said the club wanted to have a pathway for women and girls similar to its established path for male players and were “exploring what that would look like”.

“We want men and women to have the same opportunity, and we want that in a country zone as well,” Mr Stewart said.

“We are currently exploring the best pathway for women.

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“They’re (the club) talking with a number of players.

“We like to be ahead of the curve and we want to continue to explore the best options for the best possible outcomes.

“It would be great to see women from Geraldton play for East Fremantle.”

Players of the calibre of Harry Taylor and Josh Kennedy, as well as newer draftees such as Carlton recruit Jack Carroll, have all gone from the Mid West to the AFL via East Fremantle, but there has been no formal pathway for women’s players so far.

The Midwest Academy of Sport formalised its relationship with East Fremantle, the WAFL catchment club for Geraldton, in 2018 to try keep athletes living locally.

It has also been working on developing a pathway for female players.

The East Fremantle WAFLW team finished fifth this season, missing out on a finals spot.

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