The Black Diamond AFL Women’s league may been preparing to debut a number of expansion teams in 2018, but the West-Wallsend Newcastle Swans are one of just two preparing for their first senior season.
Formerly just a junior club as the Wallsend Swans, the newest red-and-white outfit on the east coast has moved to join their identity with defunct organisation West Newcastle, and everyone in their ranks cannot wait for the first bounce.
It will be a honour to be involved in the first run-out for the club in the women’s top grade, club president Steve Lewer said.
“It certainly has been a big six months for us and will continue to be very busy in the lead-up to the second Saturday in April,” Lewer said.
“We are still chasing numbers, and we are going along well at the moment.”
Darren Bird has been confirmed as the head coach for the squad heading into the expanded season of the women’s league. He has previously coached the Wallsend youth girls squads.
The Swans, who will play at Waratah Oval No.4 throughout the 2018 season, have also joined the second division Black Diamond Plate, and are looking to forge an identity in the area “between Lambton and Waratah High Schools”.
Because of that, the debut club will be slowly making the move to Bill Elliott Oval in the near future, and are looking forward to forging new paths both on and off the field.
“We thought that moving was a better option than having four clubs in the one local area, which we thought could be a death knell for our club,” Lewer said.
“When we looked at where our registered juniors actually lived, two-thirds of our players came from the central and eastern parts of Newcastle as opposed to Wallsend and Maryland.”
Lewer also revealed the club is very proud of their new jersey design, which boasts a specific “Newcastle flavour” and includes Nobbys Foreshore in the image.