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AFLW season preview: Rule changes, Daisy Pearce’s tips, how to watch and live stream

AFLW season preview: Rule changes, Daisy Pearce’s tips, how to watch and live stream

7 minutes, 54 seconds Read

The 2023 AFLW season is just days away, with the first bounce set to be between Melbourne and Collingwood at Ikon Park on Friday night.

This season will consist of a 10-week home and away season and four weeks of finals, starting November 10.

With a number of off-season player moves, new coaches, captains and new-look leadership groups, season eight is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >> take a look at what you need to know ahead of round one.

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Where is the competition at?

After one season of all 18 clubs in the AFLW competition, this is the first where every side has been given equal time to conduct a comprehensive pre-season.

The four most recent expansion sides had very minimal notice that they would be fielding a side for their first season, with the AFL announcing that there would be a second AFLW season in 2022, beginning just four months after April’s grand final.

This left the new entrants in a desperate scramble to assemble a list and train players, as well as attempt to conduct a pre-season.

The fixture includes a ‘festival of footy’ in Round 5 during the AFL grand final week, Indigenous Round in Rounds 7 and 8, and Pride Round celebrating diversity and inclusion in Round 10.

Nicole Livingstone, General Manager – Women’s Football of the AFL speaks to the media during the 2023 AFLW Captains Day. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Changes this season

Prize money

Incoming AFL CEO Andrew Dillon announced equal player prize money for both the AFL and AFLW competitions ahead of season eight. AFLW prize money for the players is set to almost double, with $1.1 million dollars to be split between the top eight teams (AFLW season seven prize money was $623,922). “We have two of the best sporting competitions in the country, on the eve of the 2023 NAB AFLW Season I am pleased to be able to announce equal players prize money for both our elite AFL and AFLW competitions,” Dillon said. “A great announcement in addition to the McClelland Trophy and $1 million in prize money to be shared across the champion club’s AFL and AFLW players that was introduced earlier this year.”

Rule changes

Longer quarters: Each quarter will be extended to 15 minutes plus time-on for goals or major injuries, while the length of half-time and quarter-time breaks have been reduced by two minutes and 30 seconds respectively.

Additional train-on player: An additional train-on player will also be allowed based on club applications, where that player meets Next Generation Academy talent concession criteria.

Interchange cap of 60 rotations per team per match will be introduced.

Boundary umpires will move 10 metres into the playing surface when the ball goes out of bounds between the 50-metre arcs.

Boundary throw ins within the 50-metre arcs will be completed from the boundary line.

The existing ‘last touch out of bounds’ rule will still apply between the 50-metre arcs.

Runners can access the playing surface three times per quarter until the last three minutes of that quarter for a maximum of 90 seconds each time. Runners can access the playing surface for a short period after goals.

Clubs will be permitted to use interchange boards to deliver messages relating to rotations and team tactics (as per the AFL competition).

Fine amounts increasing where a player has committed the same offence more than once in the past two years, rather than just in the current season. This is consistent with the treatment of the fines for Fixed Financial Offences.


AFLW will reach diverse corners of the country, with games held in a number of new locations nationwide.

The list of potential grand final host venues is as follows: Alberton Oval for Port Adelaide, Brighton Homes Arena for Brisbane and Gold Coast Suns, Fremantle Oval for Fremantle, Henson Park for the Sydney Swans and GWS Giants, IKON Park for Melbourne, Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, and Richmond, GMHBA Stadium for Geelong Cats, Leederville Oval for West Coast Eagles, and Norwood Oval for the Adelaide Crows.

Full fixture and match centre

This year, will have brand new match centres and a full fixture for the entire season.

Last season

Season 7 saw Melbourne win the premiership with victory over Brisbane at the Lions’ brand new home at Springfield, the $80 million facility that opened just a month prior.

The home and away season ladder ended with the following:

1. Brisbane Lions

2. Melbourne Demons

3. Adelaide Crows

4. Richmond

5. Geelong Cats

6. Collingwood

7. Western Bulldogs

8. Kangaroos

9. Gold Coast Suns

10. Essendon

11. GWS Giants

12. Fremantle

13. St Kilda

14. Carlton

15. Hawthorn

16. West Coast Eagles

17. Port Adelaide

18. Sydney Swans

In season 7, the final four AFL clubs (Port Adelaide, Sydney Swans, Hawthorn and Essendon) fielded their inaugural women’s teams.

All four sides finished in the bottom eight, with Sydney taking out the wooden spoon – leading to conjecture surrounding the skill disparity between foundation and expansion clubs.

With a flurry of off-season movement, the hope is that the skill level will be more balanced across the board this year.

The Melbourne Demons won the 2022 AFLW Premiership. Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Daisy’s tips

Channel 7 expert commentator and former Melbourne premiership captain Daisy Pearce has made her predictions for the upcoming season:

Premiers: MelbourneGrand Final teams: Melbourne v North MelbourneBest and Fairest: Anne HatchardWho will be a breakout star this year: Eden ZankerRising Star: Darcy MaloneyWho’s the best kick in the comp: Jas GarnerMost goals (player & how many): Kate Shierlaw, 20A player you can’t wait to watch: Jas FlemingFootball expert Daisy Pearce working for Channel 7 in 2022. Credit: Getty Images

Captain’s predictions

Each of the 18 captains have penned their predictions for the season, with reigning premiers Melbourne predicted to have another strong year.

Fourteen of the 17 captains predicted that Melbourne will make the grand final (noting that their own captain Kate Hore was not eligible to vote for them).

Seven captains are tipping Richmond’s Monique Conti to win the league best and fairest award, with Jasmine Garner (three) and Anna Hatchard (two) the only other players to receive multiple votes.

North Melbourne’s Kate Shierlaw received five nominations to be the leading goal kicker, while the AFLW rising star was predicted to would be either Alana Gee of the Gold Coast, Jasmine Fleming of Hawthorn or Matilda Scholz of Port Adelaide, with each player receiving two votes.

The AFLW Captains pose for a photograph during the 2023 AFLW Captains Day. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Which team aside from your own is most likely to reach the AFLW Grand Final?

14 – Melbourne

2 – Adelaide Crows

1 – Geelong Cats, North Melbourne

Who will win the competition Best and Fairest?

7 – Monique Conti (Richmond)

3 – Jasmine Garner (North Melbourne)

2 – Anne Hatchard (Adelaide Crows)

1 – Ash Riddell (North Melbourne), Kiara Bowers (Fremantle), Georgie Prespakis (Geelong Cats), Maddy Prespakis (Essendon), Alyce Parker (GWS GIANTS), Bri Davey (Collingwood)

Who will kick the most goals in the competition?

5 – Kate Shierlaw (North Melbourne)

2 – Jesse Wardlaw (St Kilda), Caitlin Greiser (Richmond), Chloe Scheer (Geelong Cats), Aine Tighe (Fremantle)

1 – Tayla Harris (Melbourne), Kate Hore (Melbourne), Ash Saint (Port Adelaide), Dakota Davidson (Brisbane Lions), Ella Roberts (West Coast Eagles)

Who will win the AFLW Rising Star?

2 – Alana Gee (Gold Coast SUNS), Jasmine Fleming (Hawthorn), Matilda Scholz (Port Adelaide)

1 – Sarah Goodwin (Adelaide Crows), Charlie Mullins (Brisbane Lions), Mia Austin (Carlton), Amber Clarke (Essendon), Charlotte Baskaran (Hawthorn), Zarlie Goldsworthy (GWS GIANTS), Bridie Hipwell (Hawthorn), Tess Craven (North Melbourne), Stella Reid (Richmond), Abby Bushby (West Coast Eagles), Sofia Hurley (Sydney), Charlotte Blair (Collingwood)

How to watch and live stream AFLW

Seven’s AFLW games will be available live and free around Australia on 7plus.

Victorian fans can also watch highlighted games on Channel 7 and 7mate in Victoria, while people in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia can watch every game involving teams from their home states live and free on Channel 7 and 7mate.

Below is how you can watch the round one games across the Seven network (all times are local).

Broadcast times on Seven:

Friday, 1 September

Melbourne v Collingwood

Sydney and Brisbane: 7.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Melbourne: 7.00pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Adelaide: 6.50pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Perth: 5.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Saturday, 2 September

Carlton v Gold Coast

Brisbane: 1.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Adelaide Crows v Port Adelaide

Adelaide: 2.30pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Hawthorn v Essendon

Sydney and Brisbane: 7.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Melbourne: 7.00pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Adelaide: 6.30pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Perth: 5.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Sunday, 3 September

North Melbourne v St Kilda

Sydney: 1.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Melbourne: 1.00pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Brisbane: 1.00pm live on 7plus

Adelaide: 12.30pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Perth: 11.00am live on 7plus

Sydney Swans v GWS Giants

Sydney: 3.00pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Brisbane Lions v Richmond

Melbourne: 3.00pm live on Channel 7 and 7plus

Sydney: 3.00pm live on 7plus

Brisbane: 3.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Adelaide: 2.30pm live on 7plus

Perth: 1.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

Fremantle v West Coast Eagles

Perth: 3.00pm live on 7mate and 7plus

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