Richmond Football Club and Port Melbourne Football Club are pleased to announce an alignment for the 2021 VFLW season.

The partnership will see Richmond AFLW players given the opportunity to continue to play together at the state-level. It will also provide a strong pathway at the grassroots for women in the metro and Bendigo region to be a part of an elite state level program.

The 2021 VFLW season will begin in late February, meaning non-selected AFLW players will be able to play competitive games at the state level as a reserve grade during February and March.

The team which will be Port Melbourne’s inaugural side in the Victorian Football League Women’s will play as Port Melbourne Borough with a home ground of ETU Stadium (North Port Oval).

Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said the partnership was fantastic for the Club’s Women’s program.

 “We had to make a very difficult decision on the shape of our women’s pathway programs given the significant impact COVID-19 will have on our business in the short-to-medium term,” Gale said.

“We opted to focus available resources on our elite program to give our AFLW team the best chance to succeed.

“This alignment with Port Melbourne is a great outcome for both Clubs. It is exciting for our Richmond AFLW players to be able to compete in the VFLW competition. At the same time, those Port Melbourne players aspiring to become elite women’s footballers, will have the opportunity to play alongside our AFLW-listed players.

“We look forward to working closely with Port Melbourne to create an alignment that delivers great results on and off the field.”

Port Melbourne CEO Paul Malcolm said the alignment was a fantastic opportunity for both clubs.

“We are looking forward to working together with Richmond to create a pathway for women looking to live out their football dream,” he said.

“Our club and our existing partnerships with Bendigo Women’s Football Club, St Michaels Grammar, Oakleigh Chargers, Port Colts, and the Tommy Lahiff Cup will benefit greatly from the alignment and our entry into the VFLW.” 

Port Melbourne officially received its 2021 VFLW license to enter the competition last week, having previously played in the AFL South Eastern Women’s Division 1.