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AFLW expansion "lends itself to a conference system": Livingstone


Head of Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone says the continued AFLW expansion could mean that the conference system returns for the 2020 season, where West Coast, Gold Coast, Richmond and St Kilda enter the league.

The system has seen the team with the lowest percentage, Geelong, reach the preliminary final, while Melbourne had a higher percentage than first-placed Conference B side, Carlton, but didn't make the finals.

Despite this, Livingstone says the conference system could be here to stay with four new teams entering the competition next year.

“It lends itself to a conference system in terms of the time frame that we have,” she told

“However I will say that we do have a competition committee that will make those determinations and those decisions.

Livingstone says the conference system, along with other important factors, will be reviewed in the off-season.

“We’ll review how the conferences have gone in season number three and it’s really important for everyone to remember that we’re at season number three of AFLW,” she said.

“We’re in a very small window.

“The window is also looking at the yearly calendar and where we place AFLW and it’s also looking at the cost of AFLW.”

Even though the conference system produced some messy results, Livingstone warned that everyone knew the rules before the 2019 competition commenced.

“Everyone knew what the rules of AFLW were and that was the top two teams in each conference would go through,” the Head of Women’s Football said.

“We now have the gift of hindsight at the end of a conference system and end of a competition to see what the win-loss ratio is, what the percentage is.

“You don’t know that when you set conferences at the start, you don’t know that when you put the rules in place.”

The AFLW preliminary finals will take place this weekend, with Carlton taking on Fremantle and Adelaide doing battle with Geelong.

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Nicole Livingstone

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