AFLW expansion plans put on hold until 2019
THE AFL has resisted the urge to quickly expand the AFLW competition, with the number of teams set to remain at eight in 2018.
While St Kilda and Geelong had both pushed heavily for AFLW licences in the competition's second season, they will have to wait until 2019.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said in a statement that the AFL Commission had accepted a recommendation from the AFL executive that the competition needed to be consolidated in 2018, rather than expanded.
Key priorities cited for the decision included a need for further talent identification and development, along with work to build club fan bases.
The AFL confirmed the 10 AFL clubs without AFLW teams would be invited to submit an application for inclusion in the 2019 competition.
Geelong, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast will receive priority weighting when considering applications, as those clubs were granted provisional licences after failing to secure entry to the inaugural competition in 2017.
The current teams are Adelaide, Brisbane, Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, GWS, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.