The West Coast Eagles’ journey to fielding an AFLW team in 2020 starts today with the club’s inaugural High Performance Female Academy training session.

Aimed at players who are aspiring to play in AFLW, the Academy is a new component of the Western Australian female talent pathway.

The program will act as a support to the WAFC State Female Talent Academy and focus on key fundamental development areas to compliment the players’ games.                  

Under the direction of head coach Drew Petrie, the Academy will provide emerging talented players with the necessary tools to become an elite footballer, giving them the best opportunity to develop into AFLW players.    

The West Coast Eagles’ Female Academy coaches form the most experienced and high-level panel of any female academy across Australia.

In addition to Petrie, the staff includes former Collingwood AFLW assistant coach Nikki Hardwood, 2017 East Fremantle Women’s Football Club head coach Steph Walding, West Coast Eagles club champions Luke Shuey and Eric Mackenzie, plus past players Drew Banfield, Ryan Turnbull, Chad Morrison and Adam Selwood.

Today’s inaugural event focuses on training players aged 22-plus. A training block in March will cater to budding talents aged 16-21.