Nothing will be left off the table when AFL Western District drafts a new strategic plan for the Western Victoria Female Football League.
AFL Western District is calling on clubs to provide feedback on how they see the current competition and what it should look like moving forward.
General manager Jason Muldoon said it was incumbent on the regional body to take a deeper look at the league and foresee any future roadblocks.
"There has obviously been a lot of talk over the years about the composition of the competition and who's in it," Muldoon said. "Clearly our clubs are our major stakeholders so we wanted to engage with them to get a clear direction on where we see the league heading."
He said an advisory group for the league had already given strong feedback, with AFLWD engaging a third party to conduct stakeholder discussions.
"Everything is on the table," Muldoon said. "We felt it was that time to open up the pages and say 'what does it look like, what do we want it to look like and what directions it's heading."
The strategic plan is expected to give the league's advisory group and executive a clear direction for future seasons.
The league celebrated its first premiership since 2019 in July this year, with Hamilton Kangaroos hoisting the senior women's cup and South Warrnambool prevailing in the youth girls competition.
Running since 2017, the make up of the south-west football competition has fluctuated each season.
This year, the Kangaroos couldn't field a youth girls team despite going on to win the senior flag, with Old Collegians also pulling out of the junior competition due to lack of numbers.
Meanwhile Portland withdrew its senior women's team, with Tyrendarra and Stawell entering the competition.
"I think statewide, we've realised women's football exploded in such a trajectory that it couldn't sustain that upwards motion," Muldoon said. "We've probably seen a plateau in participation numbers.
"We thought it was better to address it now and get some clear direction on where the clubs wanted to go by engaging with them in a strategic direction."
Muldoon said travel was the biggest issue the league faced but saw positive signs coming out of its younger ranks.
"The geographic space of this competition is the biggest challenge we face into the future," he said. "But we're seeing growth at the bottom level.
"This year we introduced an unofficial under-14s competition. The intake we had was fantastic."
South Warrrnambool, North Warrnambool Eagles, Portland and Port Fairy entered under 14 teams.
"If we can filter the girls in at the under 14 level and they enjoy their experience they will stay there and come through the system and we have a clear path for them," Muldoon said.
"I think we've got the structure there, we've just got to refine a few things."
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