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Tigers to officially enter AFLW from 2020

Jacqui Graham (left, runner-up in 2018 Richmond VFLW B&F) and Laura Bailey (right, former Bulldogs AFLW player, played 6 games for Richmond VFLW in 2018) with junior Tiger fans at the Christmas in Cardinia event in Beaconsfield on Tuesday. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/RichmondFC) - AFLW,Richmond Tigers
Jacqui Graham (left, runner-up in 2018 Richmond VFLW B&F) and Laura Bailey (right, former Bulldogs AFLW player, played 6 games for Richmond VFLW in 2018) with junior Tiger fans at the Christmas in Cardinia event in Beaconsfield on Tuesday. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/RichmondFC)

Richmond will officially enter the AFLW competition from 2020, after the AFL informed the Club earlier this week that the Tigers will receive an AFLW licence.

The Tigers are one of four expansion clubs to receive AFLW licences with St Kilda, Gold Coast Suns and West Coast Eagles also joining the women’s league from 2020.

In preparation for AFLW, Richmond created its first women’s football team in 2018, entering into the VFL’s women’s competition, as well as increased its coaching, performance and welfare resources for its women’s football program.

Richmond’s Head of Women’s Football Kate Sheahan said the Club is excited develop the next phase of female football at Richmond.

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“It’s wonderful for our whole Club to plan and be part of the AFLW, and we’re excited for our 100,000 Richmond members to be with us on the journey as well,” Sheahan said.

“Already, we feel that we’ve unearthed and developed some great talent through our VFLW program, which gives us a really good platform to build our AFLW list.”

“We also have some great people already employed in our women’s football program which will help us enormously as we transition into AFLW.”

Richmond recently employed Lauren Tesoriero as a full-time recruiter for its women’s football program. VFLW coach, Tom Hunter and High Performance Manager, Matt Parker are also employed in a full-time capacity. Sarah Wyllie is also employed as the Player Development Manager for the women’s program.

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The AFL’s Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said the announcement of the new AFLW licences is one of several recent developments highlighting the exciting future of the AFLW competition.

“The confirmation today of four new Clubs joining the AFLW competition in 2020 is yet another significant step forward and I congratulate the successful Clubs,” Livingstone said.

“Not only is this further opportunity for the next generation of talented women to play elite Australian Football, but also one for fans of the game as we welcome more AFLW teams wearing iconic club colours.”

Richmond will continue to compete in the VFLW competition in 2019, and can pre-select up to seven players from its VFLW list to play for the Tigers’ AFLW team in 2020.