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Who threatens Melbourne’s title Dee-fence? Here’s our AFLW 2023 Major Guide


AFLW 2023, 2022 Grand Final

The AFLW 2023 season dates are locked in, so start making plans.

For the second season, all 18 clubs will field a women’s team and there’s reason to expect that the newer sides will show growth in year two.

The Melbourne Demons will be hoping to defend their crown after last year’s Grand Final victory. But who else is in the mix?

Those are the kinds of questions we’ll look to answer right here, leading with details on the AFLW 2023 key dates. So if you’re looking at planning a footy trip later this year, you can start looking into it.

When does the AFLW 2023 season start?

Friday September 1

RECAP | A three-Dee-mentional view of Melbourne’s historic flag

AFLW 2023 season | The Melbourne Demons won the 2022 Grand Final

The AFL confirmed last week that the 2023 NAB AFLW season will kick off on the first weekend of September – a date specifically planned to coincide with the Men’s annual pre-Finals bye so all eyes can focus on the women.

“The first weekend of September is the best time for the 2023 season to start, with all eyes on the AFLW due to the bye in the AFL,” AFL EGM Football Operations, Legal & Integrity Andrew Dillon said in a statement. For the record, Dillon has also just been announced as the incoming CEO, replacing Gillon McLachlan next season.

The idea is to give the launch of the AFLW season clean air, while the Men’s finalists get their breath back and recharge for an extra week ahead of the Finals. We’ve previously written about the potential for a Wildcard Weekend, which certainly relates to the season start.

We think there’s room to stage both events over the same weekend and get everyone super pumped about September footy across both the Men’s and Women’s competitions.

AFLW 2023
Here comes the best season yet | AFLW 2023

When did the AFLW 2023 pre-season start?

AFLW 2023 Pre-Season: May 29

The sign and trade period for the 2023 season took place between March 1 and March 20 of this year and then teams will kickoff in-club organised preparation on May 29.

How to watch the AFLW 2023 season

Seven, Fox & Kayo

At least 30 home and away AFLW 2023 matches per season will be broadcast live and free on Seven as part of a new broadcast deal for the AFL and AFLW worth $4.5 billion. Seven will of course also broadcast the AFLW finals series.

If you want to watch every single AFLW game throughout the season, you can do so on Foxtel and Kayo — which will also stream all AFLW-related events like the W Awards. The broadcast arrangement is similar to that of the Men’s competition.

AFLW 2023 season
Here comes the AFLW 2023 season.

Who are the leading flag contenders for AFLW 2023?

The Dees are expected to once again be incredibly tough to beat, as will fellow Grand Finalists the Brisbane Lions.

The other sides considered a decent shot to go deep are North Melbourne, Adelaide, Richmond, Collingwood and Geelong.

The Sydney Swans, who failed to register a win in their first season, and West Coast are tipped to be the sides jostling to avoid the wooden spoon.

What do we know about the AFLW 2023 season so far?

The AFLW is still in CBA negotiations, which will continue in the lead up to round one. According to Dillon, the confirmation of dates was a decision made to provide certainty in the

“We want to provide certainty to AFLW players, clubs and fans while the CBA negotiations are ongoing,” Dillon said.

“Season length and structure continue to be discussed as part of CBA negotiations. Planning is well underway and we are excited for the AFLW season ahead.”

We will continue to keep you updated as more information regarding the AFLW CBA comes to light.

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