Padthaway FC penalised for unregistered female player

Padthaway Football Club has been handed its penalty for playing an unregistered female footballer.

The Lions have been fined $1000, plus $1000 suspended until the end of the 2019 season, for "playing an unregistered player".

The club chose to allow Casey McElroy to play reserves football against Kingston at Padthaway on Saturday May 25, despite knowing she was unregistered and not eligible to play.

Any individual penalties for McElroy have not yet been announced.

In a statement, the KNTFL said: "Any sanctions for Casey McElroy have been referred by the KNTFL to the Limestone Coast Women's Football League where she is a registered player."

The Padthaway club had sought approval for McElroy to play in the May 25 match, but was told she would be breaching an AFL bylaw prohibiting females from playing senior men's football. She was also not a registered KNTFL player.

Despite the advice, the club decided to allow her to play, after consulting the Padthaway and Kingston players and officials before the match and gaining their approval.

The match went ahead despite Padthaway knowing it was not able to claim the premiership points because of the rules breaches.

It's believed to be the first time a female has played senior football at KNTFL senior level. The league has confirmed it's the first time a club has been penalised for breaching the gender regulation.

McElroy is the Padthaway A grade netball playing coach, however her team had a bye on May 25 as Kingston doesn't have an A grade side.

McElroy is a decorated women's footballer, having won the Limestone Coast Women's Football League best and fairest award in 2019, and being part of the Kybybolite premiership team in 2018. She was also club best and fairest in 2018.

Her father Brad McElroy is a Padthaway A grade past premiership player.

  • Note: Females are allowed to play mixed gender football until the age of 14.