North Melbourne will take over the Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s licence of Melbourne Uni and field a standalone team in the state league for 2020.
The Kangaroos have been a partner of Melbourne Uni since the club joined the VFLW in its inaugural year of 2016 but will now replace the Mugars in the competition next season.
With North Melbourne having entered the AFL Women’s competition earlier this year, the club’s head of football operations Laura Kane – herself the former president of Melbourne Uni – said the Kangaroos were ready to field their own VFLW team.
“It was the right time to bring our VFLW program in-house, having completed the facility redevelopment (at Arden Street),” Kane said. “We are really excited for 2020 and beyond.
“A little more than a decade ago, North and Melbourne Uni changed the way women’s football was viewed and played when they entered into a meaningful partnership.
“North gave MUWFC a place to train, play and belong here at Arden Street, which was very significant at the time. The level of support, guidance and goodwill offered to North from MUWFC was equally powerful as we moved to secure an AFLW licence.”
— MUWFC (@MUWFC) October 30, 2019
In other club changes for the 2020 VFLW season announced in September, the NT Thunder will no longer field a team in the competition after two years playing in Victoria’s top female league and Williamstown will take on the NT’s previous affiliation with AFLW club Adelaide.
As a result, there will be 12 clubs – down from 13 in 2019 – competing in the VFLW next season.
Under new senior coach and 2019 Collingwood VFLW premiership mentor Penny Cula-Reid, the Seagulls will be able to name up to five AFLW Crows for each of their games in 2020.
The agreement with Adelaide also allows Williamstown coaches, staff and players to increase their learning and development opportunities by linking in with the AFLW Crows when they come to Melbourne.