Collingwood and Carlton to open AFLW season
AFL: It may be the start of a new era for Australian rules football, but two of the game's oldest rivals will kick off the AFLW next year.
Collingwood and Carlton will play the first game of the new women's competition on Friday, February 3.
The Magpies and Blues first met in the then VFL (now AFL) in 1897, before going on to become the most fierce of arch-enemies.
"We had our induction at Collingwood (with chief executive and former player Gary Pert) and were taught about the rivalry between clubs and what it's like to be Collingwood,” Magpies player Nicola Stevens said.
"It's awesome, I love it and it's all part of it, so we're looking forward to building on that as we start the season.”
The Magpies will host the first clash under lights at Olympic Park Oval, with Carlton's Madeline Keryk calling on Blues fans to get behind the new team in enemy territory.
"I'm really honoured that we get to play the first game of this new competition,” Keryk said.
"(But) we want to see a field of blue even though it's a Collingwood home game.”
The full draw for the inaugural season has been released with the grand final to be staged during the opening round of the AFL season on Saturday, March 25.
Each of the eight teams will play each other once across a seven-week home-and-away campaign.
In other round-one games, Adelaide will take on the GWS Giants, the Western Bulldogs will host Fremantle and Melbourne will square off with Brisbane.
In a ground-breaking agreement, all AFLW matches will be broadcast live on television.
The Seven Network will broadcast one AFLW match live nationally on free-to-air and digital platforms on Saturday night each week of the home-and-away season (and two matches in round one).
Foxtel will broadcast all AFLW home and away matches live nationally on TV and digital platforms.