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AFL women's pay deal to aid future stars

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Michael Ramsey

Aasta O'Connor reckons she'll be retired by the time the AFL women's league turns professional.

But the Western Bulldogs star says there's no limit on what the next generation of female footballers can achieve as the fledgling competition prepares for its first season.

The AFL on Thursday unveiled a revamped pay deal for the league's participants following a backlash against the original offer.

The minimum wage for players covering a 22-week period - which includes seven rounds of home and away games and the grand final - has been lifted by 70 per cent from $5000 to $8500 in 2017.

It's still a far-cry from the lucrative packages on offer to the nation's elite netballers, who are subject to 12-month contracts, are covered by private health insurance and earn a minimum wage of $27,375.

But O'Connor hopes the deal sets the ground for a competition which will survive and thrive well into the future.

"It has to be sustainable," she said.

"I'd hate for a 10-year-old girl in eight years time, when she's eligible for the draft, for the AFL not to exist. I understand we start somewhere and build up.

"I think it was back in the mid-90s that the male players were still part-time and had jobs outside of football. Look where they are now.

"I think it's going to get to a professional full-time space and I look forward to that. I'll probably be too old - I'm just the right side of 30 - but (hopefully) opportunities exist for people after their careers are finished on the field as well."

Priority signings and top draft picks will earn $12,000, up from $10,000, while the 16 marquee players also get a $2000 increase to $27,000 under the improved deal nutted out between the AFL and the players association.

The deal also covers football boots and runners, an interstate travel allowance, income protection insurance, out-of-pocket medical expenses and childcare for mothers of infants.

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