Alberti bemoans delay in AFLW start date

Roger VaughanAAP
Susan Alberti is frustrated about the delay in confirming details of the upcoming AFLW season.
Camera IconSusan Alberti is frustrated about the delay in confirming details of the upcoming AFLW season. Credit: AAP

Susan Alberti has bemoaned the delay on a start date for the next AFLW season, saying she would be questioning her future if she was a player.

The former Western Bulldogs vice-president and high-profile women's football ambassador also wonders whether the 2022-23 season can start in August as planned, given the lack of preparation time.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Monday that the start date would be announced within days after a breakthrough in negotiations with the players' association.

But Alberti, one of the AFLW's most important supporters, is frustrated that it is taking so long to finalise the season details.

"Unfortunately, it's very long-winded," she said.

"If I was one of those players, I'd be very frustrated. I'd be really sad.

"I'd wonder whether I want to go on any more, because there's no certainty about my career.

"Why would I want to play football when I don't even know what's going to happen tomorrow? I have to plan my life."

Alberti wonders if the start date should be pushed back, given that clubs have had to wait weeks for information on the coming season.

"It can't be so difficult that we can't get our act together and give these women certainty in AFLW," she said.

"It's only a couple of months to go when it's supposed to start off again - I don't know how it's possible to be able to do this.

"It needs to be perhaps later in the year."

Alberti has also been scathing of an AFL report into women's umpiring that detailed harassment and discrimination they have faced in community leagues.

She said the way forward is for women umpires to have the same opportunities as men.

"For me, it's always about the culture and from the top, down," she said.

"Women don't want to be superior, they just want to be treated as equal - that's all they ask.

"I want to see more women out there umpiring the big games ... I want to see them out there on the MCG.

"I want to see 20 more of them."

Alberti is equal parts frustrated and encouraged about the status of women in the game.

She was honoured on Tuesday at the launch of AFL Masters QuickKick, a program that aims to introduce women over 35 to the game.

In the past three weeks since its launch on social media, the program has attracted more than 2000 women - including one in NSW aged 73.

But Alberti, a lifelong Western Bulldogs fan who turns 75 on Wednesday, will not follow suit.

"It has been suggested to me over the years, but I think I will give it a miss. I might just watch," she said.

"To see these older women, who wanted to play and didn't have an opportunity to play - now look, they have an opportunity.

"It's up to them to now."

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