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AFL risks reducing women's league to "gimmick", says star

Football

The AFLW risks becoming a gimmick by keeping the season the same length despite adding two more teams, Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce says.

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Pearce says reported plans for the next AFLW season are creating angst among players.

Two clubs, Geelong and North Melbourne, will be added to make the AFLW a 10-team competition next year.

But News Corp is reporting clubs will play six games each before two weeks of finals – last season had seven games before a sole grand final.

“It doesn’t sit well with me or a lot of the players,” Pearce told SEN radio on Friday.

“I get there is a commercial reality that they want to keep this competition within the … eight-week timeslot.

“(But) I thought when those two new teams came in … we are going to get a legitimate competition here, will play everyone once and head into a final series.

“It seems not to be the case … in reality, this is a gimmicky tournament.”

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said more finals would be introduced next season.

“We want to introduce a semi-final, a prelim final … and I know that the female players want that,” McLachlan told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Friday.

“In an ideal world, Daisy is saying everyone would play each other once and I understand that.

“But … everyone is working through (it) to try and get to the right outcome.”

McLachlan said the AFL had yet to settle on a preferred fixture.

“If it was – and it’s not a decision (we’ve) made – and then there’s prelim finals and finals, it would be eight games over two months,” he said.

“There is no bigger priority for us in AFL head office than AFLW and women’s football. There are others equal, but it’s a huge priority.”

– AAP

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