Culture

Last Night’s Historic First AFL Women’s Clash Was A Spectacular Success

The crowd was so massive they had to turn people away.

Last night, thousands of footy fans rocked up to IKON Park in Melbourne to watch the first bounce in the first game in the first round of the first season of the AFL Women’s Competition. And it was bloody awesome.

The historic match between Carlton and Collingwood exceeded all expectations. Originally meant to be held at Olympic Park, the match was moved to IKON Park a couple of weeks ago after the league became concerned that Olympic Park wouldn’t be big enough. “We’re expecting above 10,000,” said an AFLW spokesperson at the time.

As it turns out, that estimate was a little on the conservative side. In the end, more than 24,000 people packed into the stadium, while thousands more outside had to be turned away. AFL CEO Gill McLachlan even went outside to personally apologise to people who were locked out. As a CEO, this is a pretty good problem to be faced with.

The match itself was a tough, hard-tackling affair, and any naysayers who thought it might lack the intensity of the men’s competition were quickly put in their place.

Collingwood got the first goal through Jasmine Garner, but from then on it was all Carlton. Marquee Blue’s player Darcy Vescio was the obvious MVP, booting four goals as the home side ran out 35 point winners.

But the result was secondary to the reaction of the fans – young, old, male and female – who shared their excitement via social media. HOW GOOD IS FOOTY YOU GUYS?!