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Revamped Women's AFL pay deal 'just the start'

Football

Aasta O’Connor reckons she’ll be retired by the time the AFL women’s league turns professional.

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But the Western Bulldogs star says there’s no limit on what the next generation of female footballers can achieve as the fledgling competition prepares for its first season.

The AFL yesterday unveiled a revamped pay deal for the league’s participants following a backlash against the original offer.

The minimum wage for players covering a 22-week period – which includes seven rounds of home and away games and the grand final – has been lifted by 70 per cent from $5000 to $8500 in 2017.

It’s still a far-cry from the lucrative packages on offer to the nation’s elite netballers, who are subject to 12-month contracts, are covered by private health insurance and earn a minimum wage of $27,375.

But O’Connor hopes the deal sets the ground for a competition which will survive and thrive well into the future.

“It has to be sustainable,” she said.

“I’d hate for a 10-year-old girl in eight years time, when she’s eligible for the draft, for the AFL not to exist. I understand we start somewhere and build up.

“I think it was back in the mid-90s that the male players were still part-time and had jobs outside of football. Look where they are now.

“I think it’s going to get to a professional full-time space and I look forward to that. I’ll probably be too old – I’m just the right side of 30 – but (hopefully) opportunities exist for people after their careers are finished on the field as well.”

Priority signings and top draft picks will earn $12,000, up from $10,000, while the 16 marquee players also get a $2000 increase to $27,000 under the improved deal nutted out between the AFL and the players association.

The deal also covers football boots and runners, an interstate travel allowance, income protection insurance, out-of-pocket medical expenses and childcare for mothers of infants.

HOW MUCH AUSTRALIA’S FEMALE SPORTS LEAGUES WILL PAY IN 2017:

AFL
*Minimum part-time salary (22-week season): $8,500

*Priority signings and top draft picks: $12,000

*Marquee players: $27,000

*Total player payment pool: $2.3 million

*Private health insurance not covered

NETBALL

*Minimum part-time salary (12-month domestic season): $27,375

*Average salary: $67,500

*Total player payment pool: $5.4 million

*Private health insurance covered

CRICKET

*Minimum salary: $7,000 (WBBL); $11,000 (one-day tournament); $40,000 (national team)

*Top salaries: $26,000 (domestic only); $100,000+ (domestic and national)

*Total player payment pool: $4.2 million

*Private health insurance covered

W-LEAGUE

*Salary cap: $150,000 per club

*Minimum salary cap spend: $35,000 per club

*Private health insurance not covered

-AAP

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