It Starts…

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

Tomorrow night we see footy back on the fields and on our TV’s. Tomorrow night St Kilda v Richmond kick-off a tenuous AFLW season. I say tenuous, given the situation around the country with regards to the Omicron strain of COVID-19 and the significant rise of cases. Given last season was cut short due to the increase of COVID cases, I suspect that every club, every player, administrator, coach, supporter and the AFL mechanism as a whole will be crossing every finger in the hope that it doesn’t get cancelled again.

The competition has been growing steadily since the AFLW started as a viable and dynamic part of the AFL world. We are seeing skills and abilities grow with each and every season. We are seeing girls who once had nowhere to go to in terms of their footy goals to be able to, if lucky enough, get selected to play for a club in the AFLW world.

For Carlton, we have seen players move away from the Navy Blue and seek new teams and new environments. I’m not here to discuss their motivations or their seeming bitterness towards a club they started with. I want to concentrate on the upcoming season and the club’s possibilities currently in front of them.

One of the most significant things that came out so far has been the very emotional video by our very own Darcy Vescio. I applauded and shed tears with Darcy as they declared themselves to be non-binary.

The raw and deep-seated way they announced to the world who they want to be seen deserves our respect, admiration, and understanding. Yet it seems that some just do not get this and resort to sinking into a gutter of criticism and ridicule that is, well, simply, showing the level of empathy and understanding that some just do not have. Some people believe that it is better to voice a nasty side instead of saying nothing (and this includes our men’s team).

I am a huge, huge, huge supporter of someone being who they are and what they want to be seen as, so long as it does not hurt or affect others. Darcy should be recognized for giving a public voice to those who feel the same way and are too scared to say anything. I want to concentrate not on their statement, but on their skills in the field and their leadership in the team, and I sincerely believe that across the AFLW world, they are a force that every player wants to contain.

I am looking forward to seeing the growth in skills and general “grunt” on the field with familiar players and seeing how much they have developed over the year. I am also looking forward to seeing our newbies and what they will bring to the team.

Season 2022 begins this Friday, and I cannot wait. I cannot wait to see how the team is fairing and how much we have grown and become a better, stronger and more determined team. I believe this starts not with the game on Sunday but started with a fearless and determined player who began the year on their terms and their identification. The strength in their statement should be the start of voicing the team’s intention of being nothing but themselves on the field and off and putting their passion into the game they love and the team they represent.

Can’t explain it, but I do feel a tinge of excitement about this season in the AFLW. I just hope that it won’t be interrupted or cancelled this year.


See link below for Darcy’s video.