AFL Masters is football that allows mature players (over 35) the opportunity to participate in our great game of Australian Rules Football and to compete with similarly aged players in a safe, well organised and enjoyable atmosphere. Clubs exist throughout the Victorian Metropolitan area playing every second week during the season, with training once a week.

It is the pathway to either:

  • play for the first time in a competition that is more focused on fun and keeping fit for life; or

  • continue playing football when the body starts struggling to recover from the rigors of Seniors football (open age 18+), but the mind isn’t ready to stop; or

  • come out of retirement, you know you want to!

AFL Masters has a national standardised set of modified rules designed to reduce the risk of injury, and are acknowledged and supported by the AFL and the Australian Sports Commission. Games consist of 4 x 15 minute quarters, a couple of modified rules and no boundary umpires, other than that it’s footy as you’ve always known and loved it. 

The AFL Masters Men’s competition has been running for over 30 years, and started with a small group of over 35s, and there are now over 119 teams Australia wide. The league are even considering an over 65s competition as the founders are still not ready to stop!  The Masters comp has a surprisingly large number of men who didn’t take up football until they were in their 40s or 50s when their doctors told them they needed to lose weight and improve their fitness. AFL Masters seemed like the perfect solution for them. 

Although a base level of fitness is an advantage, with 18 positions which require varying levels of fitness, and a bench, there is a place for all body types and fitness levels, just getting started is the key to a fitter you, and why not have fun while you are at it! The inaugural 2018 Women’s AFL Masters competition is affiliated with the Victorian Metropolitan League and there is a club near you (in Melbourne) ready to put up their hand to support our new competition.

Here are some testimonials of the experience of playing in the Women’s competition at the week-long 2017 Masters Carnival in Geelong:

“I’m really looking forward to Masters football. I’ve developed such wonderful friendships Australia wide from the Masters Carnival. I’m looking forward to playing with people my age that will be a bit more gentle with the tackling and playing for fun and friendship.” Lee, 47 y/o
“I think what I enjoyed most about playing in the AFL Masters was that I got to play and interact with people of a similar age, who have the same love and passion for football that I have. Often in local clubs as you get older you are engaging with much younger people (especially at my age), and although it’s still good fun, there was just a different feeling around the masters comp. The interactions and conversations a little more mature. The opportunity to play the game we still all love and want to be involved in, but at a pace that suits our older bodies better.”  Roi, 45 y/o
“The AFL Masters carnival was an awesome opportunity to meet, train and play with other women in the same age group as me.  I love playing footy but it is hard to be competitive when you are over 40 and playing against girls half your age.  The carnival was also a good way to highlight to the community that age and gender is no barrier to playing footy.  I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to represent the big V later this year!!!” Lianne, 44 y/o
“I thought I had too many past injuries (non-football related) to play football, but I thought I would give it a go when the opportunity to play in the Masters Carnival arose. I haven’t looked back. My love of playing footy, combined with the amazing camaraderie with like-minded women my age, gives me the motivation to get and keep fit, and with a bit of strapping, I’m right to go. I’m really looking forward to the transition from Seniors football (until now the only women’s football available) to the master’s competition which is much more gentle on our aging bodies” Jill, 39 y/o.

Images curtesy of Pine Creek Pictures, taken at the AFL Masters Carnival, Geelong, October 2017.

E-mail jill.chalmers@womensaflmasters.com.au Hours Your expression of interest will be passed on to your local club for the purpose of informing you of how to get involved.
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