10.00am SFLW Prelim Final; Clarence v Tigers

1.05pm AFLW North Melbourne v St Kilda

3.30pm STJFL U18 Girls Grand Final North Hobart v Lauderdale

It’s a feast for female footy fans at Blundstone Arena on Sunday and teen machines Charlotte Barnes and Sophie Mead can’t wait to showcase their skills in front of two AFLW teams. The local players will go head-to-head for North Hobart and Lauderdale respectively as they clash in the Southern Tasmania Junior Football League’s under-18 girls grand final as part of the Festival of Women’s Football. It is one of three top-shelf games on the day, starting with the SFLW preliminary final between Clarence and Kingborough as a curtain-raiser to the opening round of the AFLW season between North Melbourne Tasmania Kangaroos and St Kilda, followed by the STJFL girls. For Charlotte and Sophie, it is a huge reward that their season decider is on such a big stage. “It’s nice that it’s all women, that makes it a really special day for us – it’s a really good opportunity for us to see what women’s footy can be like,” Charlotte said. As the age bracket next in line for recruitment into the AFLW, Charlotte said the STJFL had plenty of talent. “We’ve got some girls in our team who might get noticed, like Ava Read and Mackenzie Banks,” she said. For Sophie, a grand final on a special day adds to the excitement. “It’s definitely going to be a big day, looking up to all of the women playing for North Melbourne and we’re very excited,” she said. North Hobart has been the competition leader for most of the season. “We are really excited and a little bit nervous but we’re going to go into the grand final to give it the best we’ve got,” Charlotte said. The Bombers identified some Demon dangers. “We need to watch out for their players like Ava and Mackenzie, especially Ava because she’s a really quick forward,” Sophie said. North Melbourne AFLW player Bella Eddey said the Kangas were “really excited” to make their season debut at their home-away-from-home. “All the girls absolutely love to play in Hobart,” Eddey said. “We’ve got some girls from Tassie in the team so it’s really nice for them to be able to play in front of family and friends. “We’ve got a pretty good record down there [undefeated in Tasmania] so hopefully we can keep that going. “It’s so great what the Matildas were able to do, so to capitalise on that with a whole day of women’s footy is great. “And for the local girls to be able to play either side of the AFLW, and also for us to play before and after them, is great and hopefully we can draw a big crowd.” The winner of the SFLW preliminary final will meet North Hobart in the grand final a week later. “It’s the first time the Tigers have been this far in a finals series, we’ve never won a finals game before this year so there’s a really exciting feeling at the club,” said Tigers midfielder Hailee Baldwin. “To play before an AFLW game is something even more special, not many girls have done that before so it’s going to be really exciting.” Clarence will re-set after its qualifying final loss to North Hobart and Roo Ness Delpero said there would be no better stage than an all-women’s footy festival. “It’s going to be awesome,” she said. “It’s a super-important day for the girls. We all admire the AFLW girls, especially the Kangaroos – one of their players used to play for us, Nicole Bresnehan. “She gets around us, we get around her, and a few of our players trained with them a few weeks ago so we got to know them. “Just being able to play footy on the same day and on the same field is pretty exciting – it’s good for women’s footy.” james.bresnehan@news.com.au