Statement: AFLW updated fixture for Rounds One and Two

The AFL has today advised all Clubs of amendments to the fixture for Round One and Round Two of the 2021 NAB AFL Women’s Competition to provide maximum flexibility and allow for the season to commence in the safest way possible with current border restrictions in place across the country.

The season-opener will remain unchanged with the 2021 NAB AFL Women’s Competition to kick off on Thursday, January 28 with a blockbuster match between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park. The following match-ups for Round One also remain unchanged:

  • St Kilda vs. Western Bulldogs at RSEA Park at 7:10pm AEDT, Friday January 29
  • Geelong Cats vs. North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium at 12:10pm AEDT, Sunday January 31
  • Richmond vs. Brisbane Lions at Swinburne Centre at 2:10pm AEDT, Sunday January 31
  • Fremantle vs. GWS GIANTS at Fremantle Oval at 4:10pm AEDT, Sunday January 31.

Changes to the fixture for Round One have been made as a result of the current border restrictions in place and will see:

  • Gold Coast SUNS vs. Melbourne at Metricon Stadium at 3:10pm AEDT on Saturday, January 30
  • West Coast Eagles vs. Adelaide Crows at Mineral Resources Park at 5:10pm AEDT on Saturday, January 30.

Round Two will see the inaugural Pride Round celebrated across the competition as previously advised, with the two clubs who paved the way - the Western Bulldogs and Carlton - to launch the Round at the Victoria University Whitten Oval at 7:45pm AEDT on Friday, February 5.

>> The revised fixture for Round One and Round Two of the 2021 NAB AFL Women’s Competition can be found here.

AFL Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said the revised fixture provides the competition with maximum flexibility while ensuring the least disruption for everyone involved in the game.

“We’re really looking forward to the season kicking off with the scheduled Carlton and Collingwood match at Ikon Park, and there is so much to look forward to from that opening night right through to the NAB AFLW Grand Final,” Ms. Livingstone said.

“The adjustments made to the first two rounds provides certainty into the early part of the season and allows the competition to remain as adaptable as possible as the season progresses in a constantly changing environment.”

Ms Livingstone thanked all clubs, players and the AFLPA, umpires, venues, governments, and broadcasters for their understanding and for the role they have each played in helping piece this block of games together.

“Throughout the planning process we listened to and worked closely with each stakeholder to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone in the game. We openly acknowledge there are unique challenges and recognise the non-football commitments of both AFLW players and staff and through this open dialogue we know the AFLW community remains determined to work through them to achieve a full season."

Ms Livingstone said that while it was great to be able to schedule matches for fans to attend in states that experienced significant challenges in 2020, she reminded the football community of the on-going challenges of the pandemic.

“While COVID-19 continues to impact the community, the health and welfare of our players and the community remains the priority and we remain committed to delivering a full season in a safe manner."

The AFL continues to closely monitor the situation and take advice from public health officials and medical experts and will announce further rounds of the revised fixture in the coming weeks.

Following the nine-round home and away season, the top six teams will participate in a three-week finals series with a single ladder to remain in place for 2021.

As previously communicated, all matches in the 2021 season will be fully ticketed for the first time as part of the continued progression of the competition and to ensure all venues are COVID-safe.

The AFL remains committed to celebrating the first Pride Round, the inaugural AFLW Indigenous Round and the Toyota Good For Footy Round during the 2021 season.

Tickets to NAB AFLW matches for Adults / Concession will be $10 with free entry for children under 18. Tickets for Round One will be on-sale from Monday, January 25.

Highlights of the 2021 NAB AFLW Fixture:

  • In a return to the very first match of AFLW in 2017, Collingwood and Carlton will kick off the season on Thursday January 28 at Ikon Park.
  • The inaugural AFLW Pride Round
  • The inaugural AFLW Indigenous Round
  • The inaugural Toyota Good for Footy Round

All 2021 NAB AFL Women’s Competition matches will be broadcast live on the Seven Network, FOX FOOTY, Kayo, and via the AFL Live Official App, thanks to Telstra. Matches will also be streamed live via womens.afl and the AFLW Live Official App.

The AFL would like to acknowledge the naming rights partner for the AFLW Competition, the National Australia Bank (NAB), for providing outstanding support for all levels of women’s football.

NAB has supported the footy community since 2002, providing boys and girls with a clear pathway from NAB AFL Auskick through to the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program all the way to the big time. In the fifth year as principal partner of the AFLW, NAB is proud to once again be supporting the competition in 2021, providing many women the opportunity of playing at the elite level and many girls across the country with something to aspire to.