Exciting times loom large on the horizon for the 2019 crop of Dandenong Stingrays Girls after the announcement of a 47-strong squad for the Victorian Under-18 Girls Competition.
Players from the South East region – from Rye to Doveton – will represent the Stingrays in a competition featuring an expanded finals series.
The Stingrays begin their campaign against Eastern Ranges at Skybus Stadium, Frankston, on Sunday, March 3, the first of an exciting triple-header. The Stingrays and Ranges kick things off at 10.30am, followed by Oakleigh and Gippsland at 12.15pm before Sandringham and Geelong round out an exciting day of football at 2pm.
Under the name of TAC Cup Girls, the competition’s premiers were decided by ladder positioning in 2017 (Calder Cannons), while a grand final between the top two teams at the end of the home-and-away season determined the 2018 champions (Geelong Falcons).
In 2019, the top four teams on the ladder at the end of a nine-round home-and-away season will play off in two semi-finals on Saturday, May 18 for the right to advance to the Grand Final the following Saturday.
The official naming rights partner for the U18 girls’ talent competition and the competition name itself will be announced at the end of February, with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) having ended its association with the competition after two years as its naming rights partner.
The 12 Victorian teams from first the two seasons of the U18 competition will compete again this year, with Tasmania to play two invitational games before facing off with the fifth-place finisher on semi-final day. All three games will be played in Victoria.
The 2019 season begins on Saturday, March 2 and takes competition-wide byes on the weekends of March 9-10 and April 20-21.
Last year, 20 TAC Cup Girls players were selected in the NAB AFL Women’s Draft – including 14 of the top 20 picks – joining the 10 players taken in the 2017 draft on AFLW lists for 2019.