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‘Fearless’: New Disney+ Docu-Series Charts the Incredible Rise of AFLW

Women’s sport has come a long way over the last two decades and the progress hasn’t come without a fight. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, female athletes in Australia were criminally under-appreciated, particularly in team sports. From the world-beating Women’s Cricket Team to the championship Diamonds Netball organisation, the nation’s fiercest competitors often flew under the radar and far from the broadcast lights. However, as the generations rolled over and global icons like Liz Ellis and Lauren Jackson handed down the reins to the new brigade of female stars in Alyssa Healy and Liz Cambage, the world began to take note.

Erin phillips looks to handball during the 2022 aflw grand final on april 9 2022 picture afl photos

Erin Phillips looks to handball during the 2022 AFLW Grand Final on April 9, 2022 | Image: AFL Photos

Just this week, Australian Sam Kerr became the first woman to grace the global cover of EA Sports’ legendary FIFA video game franchise and now Disney+ is giving the AFLW its turn to shine. The streaming service has just unveiled the first trailer for Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW, a bold look at the birth of the nation’s burgeoning female football league.

Set to premiere on 24 August, 2022Fearless charts the unique pathway many of the sports’ biggest stars took to achieve their on-field dreams. From nurses and truckies to uni students and framers, the six-part series follows the pioneering athletes who were told they could never play Australian Rules football at the highest level and surged ahead anyway. The series spotlights four clubs – Adelaide Crows, Collingwood, GWS Giants and Western Bulldogs, providing viewers with never-before-available access to the game’s inner sanctum. According to Kylie Rogers, executive general manager customer & commercial at the AFL, the footage was captured in April 2022 as the Adelaide Crows secured their third AFLW premiership.

“Over the last six seasons of the NAB AFLW competition, our remarkable W players have captured the hearts and minds of footy fans all over the world with the pure joy and determination in which they approach their footy,” Rogers said. “The Disney+ team captures the essence of AFLW in Fearless – it’s a mixture of pure emotion, hard-hitting footy, and all the highs and lows that the world of football offers – and we get front-row seats to it all. We’re thrilled to have worked with the Disney+ team in bringing this documentary series to life.”

Melbournes eliza mcnamara in action against the western bulldogs in r4 2021 picture afl photos

Melbourne’s Eliza McNamara in action against the Western Bulldogs in R4, 2021 | Image: AFL Photos

The new docu-series isn’t just a landmark release for the AFLW, either. Fearless is the first-ever Australian Disney+ original series, heading the streaming service’s local production slate for this year. Kylie Watson-Wheeler, senior vice president and managing director of The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand confirmed that is was the first of nine Australian originals set to premiere this year and next.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing to Disney+ this world-first look at the AFLW and the powerhouse movement it has become for women in sport,” Watson-Wheeler said. “The documentary celebrates the journey of trailblazing women – some of the first to play Australian Rules Football professionally. The documentary showcases extraordinary women who are paving the way for future generations and chasing football glory in their own unique ways.”

Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW premieres 24 August on Disney+, with a new episode each week. You can check out the trailer above and learn more about the streaming service and its initiatives via the link below.

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