Celebrating women in football

Olivia O'Donahoo (Admin)
September 12, 2017

From Auskick to AFL, female umpires to water girls, groundswomen to canteen ladies, to the mum who drives her kids to training. You are what this game is all about!

Currently 39% of AFL fans are female. there are 380,000 females participating in Australian rules football, 15,356 female AFL members and 33% of the AFL employees are female. That's a lot of fantastic women, contributing to the greatness of the game. We sat down with key female footy figures to see why they love the great game that is AFL football.


Daisy Pearce

Daisy Pearce had her first taste of the game when she was eight years old, when her dad Daryl, a coach for the Bright junior footy team, allowed her to train with the U13’s. Football was a big part of her family life growing up. Recently Daisy has captained both the Melbourne Football Club women’s side and the Darebin Falcons in the VWFL.

“Being able to run out on the MCG and look down and be wearing real AFL colours... It is an absolute dream come true and, being female, it’s something I didn’t think would happen. It’sa huge personal achievement, but also bigger in the sense of the game, and what it means to be a woman in general.”
Daisy Pearce, Swisse Ambassador, AFLW & VWFLfootballer


Libby Toovay

Libby Toovey has been umpiring football for 10 years. Libby started umpiring junior football and then moved to the Southern Football League where she umpired senior football for four years. Three years ago, Libby trialed out for the VFL, was successful and has been umpiring in the league ever since, including the TAC cup as well as the VFL reserves. Libby got into umpiring because she loved football and wanted to play. Unfortunately, 10 years ago there were very few opportunities for females to play the game…so she tried umpiring and never looked back! Libby’s love of football stems from the opportunities it brings and the people she meest. Libby had the opportunity to umpire the inaugural AFLW season which was a key highlight in her career.

“To see the women finally getting their time in the sun was amazing! I’ve also met some incredible people through footy that I wouldn’t have otherwise. No matter who you are, where you come from, who you love or what you believe, there’s always a place for you on the football field.”
Libby Toovey, VFL Reserves and AFLW umpire


Brianna Davey

Brianna Davey began her professional sporting career playing soccer and make the Matildas' national squad as a goal keeper. She then moved onto play AFLW football where she was selected as one of two marquee players for the Carlton Football Club. Bri won Carltons inaugural best and fairest award in April 2017.

“Some people love the travelling and being away from home that the sport (soccer) brings, but there is some people who don’t. For me while playing soccer I missed being at home and having a solid day in day out routine. AFL has allowed me to have all this and more. I love the game and I love the fact that the league for women is becoming more and more established, which is important for the younger generation to have." 
Brianna Davey, Swisse Ambassador, AFLW & VWFL footballer


Hayley Trevean

There wasn’t a lot of female football opportunities around when Hayley Trevean was younger. She played with played with school teams growing up, primarily all boys. Hayley played community football at Bendigo thunder and was then drafted to the Carlton Football Club.

“Running out onto the ground means absolutely everything to me. I am so grateful to play the game and have the opportunity to run out with the girls. I have learnt so much from my playing experience and I have definitely grown as a person because of the sport I love.” 
Hayley Trevean, Swisse Ambassador, AFLW & VWFL footballer


Louise Donovan

A die-hard Western Bulldogs fan and former player, Louise has supported her three sons through their involvement in football and continues to take a keen interest in the sport.

"I've loved footy ever since I was little. Growing up, I always played footy and went to VFL matches with my older brothers.  I now always watch the Doggies when they play.  I think the opportunities that girls and women have to play footy now are fantastic and I wish I had those opportunities when I was younger.  I have three sons, so while they were growing up, most weeknights and weekends were spent driving them to football practice and watching them play. It was really important to me that they were supported in their love of football. My youngest son, Guy, still plays, so I watch him whenever I can. I love the atmosphere of footy and the way it brings people together."  
Louise Donovan, football fan