My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a must-read for new and existing fans of women’s AFL. It has indeed been a “hidden history”, but Lenkic and Hess have dragged it into the light for all to see and enjoy. I knew there had been women’s exhibition matches during WWI and WWII, but I was not aware that such matches had been going on since the 1850s! It was fascinating to read of the football games played by rival factory teams in Perth – and to see just how big a role Western Australian women have played in women’s football. My assumption had always been a Victorian phenomenon, with some links to South Australia, but I discovered in these pages just how national the game really has been for a long time. The struggle to have a seriously regarded and recognised competition for women has been going for almost as long as AFL has existed.
It was also wonderful to see all those names who are now becoming so familiar through the new AFLW, like Susan Alberti, Katie Brennan, Nicole Graves, Melissa Hickey, Daisy Pearce, Tayla Harris, Debbie Lee, Lisa Hardeman, et al – and read of their passion and drive to make our game accessible for all.
A great addition to our sporting lexicon.