The AFLW’s Indigenous Round is shaping to be a blockbuster fixture for Fremantle, with a round eight RAC Derby clash locked in with West Coast at Optus Stadium.
The Fremantle home game will be held on Saturday 26 February under lights at the prime-time slot of 6:10pm locally.
The fixture also lands in the AFLW’s second ever Indigenous Round, an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to Australian football.
Fremantle will run out onto Optus Stadium wearing the Indigenous jumper designed by past player Des Headland, AFLW player Mikayla Morrison and Indigenous artist Kevin Bynder – the same design worn by Fremantle’s AFL team in season 2021.
The jumper combines the heritage of Headland and Morrison, with the design process also done in conjunction with Fremantle’s ‘Stretch’ RAP (Reconciliation Action Plan), which was developed in assistance with the Club’s Indigenous program partner, Woodside.
The clash will mark the fourth RAC Derby between Fremantle and West Coast in the AFLW, with Freo running out 67-point winners over the Eagles at Optus Stadium the last time the two sides met.
It shapes as the first potential RAC Derby outing for the likes of Fremantle draftees Amy Franklin, Dana East, Makaela Tuhakaraina, Airlie Runnalls, Jess Low and Sarah Wielstra.
It also looms as the next chance for someone to stop Kiara Bowers’ incredible run of RAC Derby form, after the midfielder has previously taken home all three best on ground medals in consecutive matches against West Coast.
Fremantle’s AFLW senior coach Trent Cooper said returning to Optus Stadium will be an exciting prospect.
“We’re really excited to be back at Optus Stadium for another RAC Derby, particularly with this one also being Indigenous Round,” Cooper said.
“Further to that, the Saturday night prime-time is something that we think will be great for our supporters and players alike.
“It will be great to wear our Indigenous jumper for that game, and hopefully, Mikayla will be a part of that as well, so it will add an extra element to the weekend.”
The AFL will release the full fixture for the 2022 NAB AFLW competition in the coming days.