2023 CAFL Season kicks off Saturday Aug 26

The 2023 Canterbury AFL Mens (CAFL) season will launch into action on Saturday 26 August at the QE2 complex, with a replay of the 2022 Grand Final between Season ‘22 premiers Blues FC, and the University Cougars AFC.  This will no doubt be a closely fought contest, as the GF was, with the anticipation for a tough, physical yet skillful game to be played.

The Blues have recruited well in recent years and have a very strong and solid base of players which their GF success was structured around.  The Cougars have been in and around the finals for a few years now, and are searching for their first flag since 2018.

First bounce is at 2.30pm.

Prior to the GF rematch, at the earlier time of 12.30pm, the 2020 & 2021 premiers – Mid Canterbury Eagles FC, and the Christchurch Bulldogs, will formally commence the season with the first match of Rd 1.  The Bulldogs had a stellar run of success through the 2010’s but have been in somewhat of a rebuilding phase since their last premiership in 2019, whilst the Eagles are aiming to continue their recent run of finals’ appearances.

Both teams have plenty of young guns and future AFL superstars in their lineup and this match should also provide plenty of excitement with a closed finish likely to be the case.

For the 2023 Canterbury Womens (CAFL-W) competition, the first round will be played in the new timeslot of 6.30pm Friday, 29 September, at Hagley Park (on the cnr of Deans & Riccarton Ave).  The move away from QE2 on Saturdays, where the first two seasons of CAFL-W were played, has been made to assist with the growth of the game and allow those women who have other sporting commitments for themselves or their families to attend to on Saturday to participate in the CAFL-W competition.

This year the Womens’ competition will showcase two new guernsey designs, with team names Dolphins & Panthers having been decided via a public voting system.  This provides the women with their own identities for their two initial teams, with plans for future expansion into additional teams already being spoken about, as numbers grow and allow.

Overall, season 2023 for CAFL & CAFL-W is expected to be exciting, competitive and provide a solid platform for the continued growth and success of both mens and womens AFL here in Canterbury.  Make sure you get along to either QE2 Park or Hagley Park to watch … or even better, get in touch and become involved in one of the teams.