It is “a massive goal” of QBE Sydney Swans Academy star Zali Deep to one day don the red and white in the AFLW competition – and this week she’s taken one step closer.
The Federal Government announced on Tuesday it had committed $15 million to the Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre, which in 2020 will become the new home of the Swans.
The government’s generous hand means the facilities required to house a Swans AFLW team at Moore Park’s Royal Hall of Industries are now in the pipeline, putting aspiring female footballers like Deep on the path to stardom.
Swans CEO Tom Harley said the government funding was crucial to the club’s ambitions.
“This is a significant day for AFL in NSW because it paves the way for the Sydney Swans to have a women’s team,” Harley said.
“Facilities have been the key barrier to us entering the AFLW competition. Simply put, we had nowhere to house a team and we strongly believe that an elite women’s team deserves elite facilities.
“The Sydney Swans HQ and Community Centre means that young girls can join young boys in aspiring to pull on the red and white jumper.”
Deep is a member of the Academy’s under-13 squad, and she’s set out clear goals to progress through each age group on the road to Sydney’s future AFLW team.
The Youth Girls Program launched in 2018 and now takes on girls in the under-12s, under-13s and under-14s.
The Swans’ plan is to introduce another age group every year, through until the under-18s, in pursuit of eventually landing an AFLW license.
Deep says she has a burning desire to one day pull on a Swans guernsey in the bright lights of the AFLW tournament.
“It is a massive goal and it’s always been my dream to be a part of the future Sydney Swans women’s team,” Deep told SwansTV.
“I’m going to put a lot of hard work into getting there.”