The AFL’s confirmation on Wednesday of the Fremantle Dockers as the successful bidder to host the inaugural WA team in the new national women’s league has been warmly welcomed by the club.

President Steve Harris said the announcement recognised the club’s decade-long investment in developing women’s football in WA and the strong community focus of the bid, through partnerships with the City of Cockburn and Curtin University.

“It was a very competitive bid process and we are extremely pleased that the AFL has awarded the licence for the inaugural WA team in the new national women’s league to Fremantle,” Harris said.

“Female participation in football is one of the fastest growth areas in sport in WA and the talent pool for female footballers in this State is one of the strongest in the country.

“The club has been heavily involved in promoting and growing women’s football in WA for the past 10 years, including a significant financial contribution during that time.

“This commitment and investment has played an important role in the development of women’s football in WA and growth in female membership at the club, which has the highest percentage of female members in the AFL.

“It’s important to also acknowledge the role of the WA Football Commission in developing and growing women’s football in WA over a long period of time and the support the club has received from the commission for its women’s football program.”

WAFC congratulates Fremantle Dockers

Harris said partnerships with the City of Cockburn and Curtin University were key planks of the successful bid.

“The development of the Fremantle Dockers’ national women’s team represents a paradigm shift in the development of elite sport in that it not only involves the integration of female and male elite teams, but also involves the integration of those teams into a rapidly developing local government region, the City of Cockburn, and a world standard tertiary institution in Curtin University,” he said.

“Our women’s team, which will be based at our new elite training and administration facility at Cockburn Central West, will adopt the name and colours of the Fremantle Dockers and be integrated into all marketing of the Fremantle Football Club.”

Harris said the club was awaiting further details from the AFL about the compilation of the playing list and fixtures.

“We would certainly like to see at least one game each season played on the oval at our new home base at Cockburn Central West and one at Curtin University,” he said.

As part of the bid, Harris said the club would also partner with SportsMed Subiaco for the provision of specialist resources in exercise science, physiotherapy, sports psychology and sports training.