Your completely, absolutely reliable, 100% guaranteed guide to the 2018 AFLW season

'Some bloke who never made it past the Bundoora Auskick stage, will say that Melbourne star Daisy Pearce would not last five minutes in a suburban under-16s boys game. You refrain from rolling your eyes so hard that you sprain yourself.'

The AFL Women’s second season is now in full swing. Launched on February 2, the Carlton-Collingwood game repeated the large crowds that greeted the start of last year’s inaugural season. After two rounds, Carlton, the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne remain unbeaten in the eight-team competition. As the season heats up, Jackie Lynch offers some hot tips for what to expect in the AFLW over the coming weeks. She will also tell you how to win 3000 Sam Newman Bobbleheads!

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Eddie McGuire

Collingwood President Eddie “Everywhere but Ikon Park” McGuire will miss his club’s next home game as he will be hosting the Third Triennial Interstate Polka Dancing Semi-Final in Hahndorf, South Australia. Eddie will miss all subsequent Collingwood games due to a series of important appointments, including having his eyebrows dyed and his ears candled at an exclusive Toorak boulangerie/alternative health care clinic.  

The Pride Match

Despite their lack of support for a “Yes” vote in last year’s marriage equality plebiscite, Carlton have been rewarded with the inaugural AFLW Pride match to be played against Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval on February 23.

Whereas the Bulldogs embraced their LGBTIQ+ fans, staff members and players during the marriage equality debate, Carlton bravely responded with a shoulder shrugging “Eh”.

A Carlton administrator says of the upcoming pride game: “Pride is a very good song by U2. This match is about U2. I love U2 and I’m not ashamed to say that out loud.”

Off the field

The media will face stiff financial penalties for breaching any of the following subsections during the season:

  • Not describing the Bulldogs’ Emma Kearney as a “dual-sport athlete” regardless of the context.
  • Any sentence about the Bulldogs’ Katie Brennan must begin with a reference to her injury-ruined 2017 campaign. Acceptable variations include “Looking for atonement” “After an injury-wrecked 2017” and any use of the words “redemption” “comeback” or, more controversially “payback” or “revenge”.
  • Every puff-piece about Adelaide’s Erin Phillips must use a minimum of three of the following words or phrases: “Olympian” , “mother of twins” , “wife”, “gay”, “basketball” and finally and most controversially, “Adelaide”.
  • Every player in the AFLW must be compared to a male player. For example, a player who shrugs a tackle must be referred to as a “female Dustin Martin”. Sadly, unlike Dusty, very few AFLW players have been investigated for allegedly threatening someone with a pair of chopsticks.

On the field

Each team will face a 12-point penalty for not fielding a side featuring a player named Katherine or some derivative of this name. Acceptable variations will include Kate, Katie, Kath, Cath, Catherine, Caitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlin, Caitlyn, Cait, Kait or Kayte. AFL officials will draw the line at Quayte.

Bitter protests lodged by Kate-less reigning premiers Adelaide will see a brace of Sarahs (Perkins and Allan) and Jessicas (Sedunary and Allan again) become an acceptable alternative. Fremantle will also complain, but no one will listen because they are not the West Coast Eagles.

When Melbourne finishes on top of the ladder, the Grand Final will not be held in Melbourne as one might expect. Owing to a catastrophic and mysterious over-watering of every football ground in our fair city, the Dees will be forced to play their big game elsewhere. The Premiership will be staged at a hastily constructed oval at the Western Plains Zoo, once all the wildebeest have all been sedated.

A list of encounters to expect and how to deal with them

That annoying guy from IT will corner you to explain how the AFLW is not really “as good” as the men’s game, but that he was surprised about “how hard the girls go”.

You stun him and end all such pearls of wisdom directed your way by mildly commenting that, amazingly, the AFLW games are not for his personal enjoyment alone and that not everything has to be for him. The simple truth of this statement literally blows his mind. He slumps to the floor. You step over him and go back to work.

Some bloke who, incidentally, never made it past the Bundoora Auskick stage, will say that Melbourne star Daisy Pearce would not last five minutes in a suburban under-16s boys game. You refrain from rolling your eyes so hard that you sprain yourself and instead resort to staring pointedly at his paunch.

You then buy 600 Daisy Pearce Bobbleheads and leave them all over the office/classroom/workshop. Daisy seems to watch the bloke where ever he goes. He calls in sick and never comes back again.

Bob Drywall, of Carnegie, will attempt a BBQ stopper moment by claiming that all AFLW players are “dykes”. You punch “I Am What I Am” into the Spotify playlist and yell “SO WHAT UNCLE BOB?” Your mother tells you to calm down. You eat all of Bob’s chops in revenge.  

So there you have it — a completely reliable list of what to expect. Good luck, may all your footballing dreams come true. To win 3000 Sam Newman Bobblehead dolls, simply become a different person and manufacture them yourself! Then smash them!

[A version of this piece first appeared on www.footyalmanac.com.au. Jackie Lynch is a Melbourne-based footy tragic, union member and very slow jogger.]

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