Dockers boss gives staunch defence of AFLW
Fremantle Dockers president Dale Alcock has passionately defended the AFLW as financial pressures from the coronavirus pandemic's economic impact in Australia puts pressure on the future of the competition.
The club president proclaimed that he would "die in a ditch" to keep the comp alive as some detractors suggest the $20 million invested in AFLW could be used elsewhere to insulate the game.
"I'm on record as saying if anyone was to touch AFLW or suggest it shouldn't be there in the future, I'd die in a ditch over it," Alcock said on SEN's Dwayne's World.
"I'm absolutely committed to it, as Fremantle Football Club is to it."
Alcock argued that the investment in AFLW gives clubs like Fremantle all new audiences, more membership potential, and more people playing footy, and that can only be a positive thing for the game as a whole.
"It does bring us a different supporter, a different demographic and I think that's just fantastic for the game," he said.
"If we look at our home games in WA down at Fremantle Oval and you look around at the crowd coming to support our girls, they're a different crowd. There are a lot of young girls, there are different cultures on display, people from different backgrounds and so forth and that's fantastic for the game of AFL.
"It's just wonderful to see the community uptake of women's football as well."
Furthermore, Alcock said Fremantle's AFLW team gives a lift to the men's team.
"They're so giving and they just light the place up with energy," he said.
"What they bring it into Fremantle football club is incredible. I think that has a direct influence on our men's squad as well.
"We love our girls. I think they bring so much to our club.https://twitter.com/freodockers/status/1241606432669097985
"I think the fact that they're semi-professionals you might say, the girls take nothing for granted. They love their football, they love everything about the opportunity they're given and they don't have this massive expectation of what they get in return."
Fremantle have had a team in the AFLW since the league's inaugural season in 2017. In the 2019 and 2020 they had their first winning seasons and made the finals.
However their impressive 2020 undefeated run was cut short when the preliminary finals were abruptly cancelled and no premiership was awarded due to the impact of the pandemic.