Richmond, Geelong to play round four AFLW 2020 season match on Bendigo's QEO


Growing up as a keen footballer, Kodi Jacques never imagined that one day she would play in the AFLW.

Let alone an AFLW match back on the oval where her career began, Bendigo's QEO.

Richmond will host Geelong for an AFLW game in round four of the 2020 season at the QEO, the first time one of the league's matches has been played on Bendigo's premier oval.

"It's going to be so special as I know the community in Bendigo gets around women's sport and especially football," Jacques said.

BACK AT HOME: Bendigo football product Kodi Jacques can't wait for the opportunity to play on the QEO in her debut season as an AFLW player. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

BACK AT HOME: Bendigo football product Kodi Jacques can't wait for the opportunity to play on the QEO in her debut season as an AFLW player. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

"It will be a very entertaining game for the fans that come to watch.

"It's great for local athletes such as myself and Grace Campbell to play on the oval where we started our careers."

Both Jacques and Campbell played with the Bendigo Thunder before joining the Tigers in the VFLW and eventually the AFLW.

Jacques, Campbell and former Thunder player Sarah Last all played in the VFLW Tigers' match against the Casey Demons at the QEO earlier this year.

Grace Campbell. Picture: RICHMOND FOOTBALL CLUB

Grace Campbell. Picture: RICHMOND FOOTBALL CLUB

But to be able to do it again in her first year as an AFLW player, Jacques couldn't be more thrilled.

"I can get pretty nervous running out in any game, but especially back home in front of family and friends..but I can't wait for the opportunity," Jacques said.

"To be able to showcase women's football for the nation but specifically in Bendigo is great.

"Richmond is such a historic club to be a part of and I'm so grateful to be there.

"With the four new teams in the competition this year there will be even more talent and skills in the league.

"It's the fastest growing women's sport in Australia.

"All of the players work so hard during the pre-season, so the league will be even better this year."

Richmond Football Club CEO Brendon Gale described the AFLW's growth as "seismic".

"Credit to the AFL and Gillon McLachlan for their inspired leadership four or five years ago when they said they were going to make it happen," Gale said.

"They said they would commit to a competition and that's what they've done."

The league then held its inaugural season in 2017.

Gale said the competition had created new pathways for young girls to play Australian rules.

"It's great on all fronts. At the club we're passionate about diversity and equity," he said.

"First and foremost the opportunity to have a women's team in the VFLW and now AFLW creates pathways for young girls to play for Richmond.

"In addition to the excitement and participation at a junior level. I have daughters who play football in Melbourne and the numbers are getting better and better."

The match between the Tigers and Cats will be played on Saturday February 29, first bounce at 3.10pm.

"The QEO is an awesome facility with a truly beautiful oval," Gale said.

"Bendigo is also a prominent part of our next generation academy, we cover a big expanse through the regional areas to promote our club and the AFL brand.

"So to be able to do this through the women's competition makes it even more exciting."

EARLIER:

There have been a few historic moments that have taken place on the Queen Elizabeth Oval.

There will now be one more to add to the list.

Richmond will host Geelong for an AFLW match in round four of the 2020 season at the QEO, the first time one of the league's matches has been played on Bendigo's premier oval.

The game will take place on Saturday February 29 with the first bounce at 3.10pm.

The announcement comes after a VFLW match was held at the QEO earlier this year between the Tigers and Demons.

This year the AFLW will have 14 teams across two conferences, including new additions Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast.

The teams will be split into two conferences with the season set to kick off on Friday February 7 at Ikon Park.

CONFERENCE A

  • Adelaide
  • North Melbourne
  • Geelong
  • Greater Western Sydney
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Richmond

CONFERENCE B

  • Fremantle
  • Melbourne
  • Western Bulldogs
  • Carlton
  • Collingwood
  • St Kilda
  • West Coast

This story Historic first AFLW game to be played at Bendigo's QEO first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.