Adelaide three-time AFLW Premiership Captain Chelsea Randall says the growth of women’s football is still surreal, but it’s something she’s proud to be part of.

Randall was one of Adelaide’s marquee signings, along with Erin Phillips, ahead of the first AFLW season in 2017.

And when the WA product moved to Adelaide, girls and women’s footy was in its infancy, with not many participating.

Speaking with Ebony Marinoff on the Crows Chat podcast, Randall said the participation rate had grown exponentially, alongside the strength of the AFLW competition.

“When I first moved to Adelaide I was a Female Communities Officer for the Crows and within the first two weeks we started up a Crows Cup carnival,” Randall said.

“We had a couple of schools, I think we had 13 turn up for this carnival, which was awesome… It (then) jumped up to 67 just in those three months of the first AFLW and now it’s more than 200-300-odd clubs.

“But now, the Crows Cup carnival has taken off over the years and we have 30 different carnivals and thousands of girls playing footy, which just gives them an opportunity to try it in a safe space, with their school friends.

“That was the concept and idea of that and I am proud that it has taken off. “It’s amazing how fast it took off in a space of just three months of that first AFLW comp.”

In December, Randall, who was Adelaide’s inaugural and longest serving AFLW Captain, advised her teammates and the Club that she would hand over the reins ahead of the 2024 season.

Despite the decision to step down as Skipper, Randall did agree to a two-year contract extension, ensuring she would be remaining in Adelaide and continue to help guide the next generation of Crows stars.

“Adelaide is a special place for me. I never probably pictured myself with my two feet landing here in SA but the Club has given me everything,” Randall said.

“The game itself has given me so many opportunities, the lifelong friendships - I have connected with people, played, staff, coaches, - and when you build that connection you just want that around you and that network forever.

“Just seeing the growth and development of female footy and seeing the young ones, like an 18-year-old girl playing footy and coming into the Crows now, she is so much more talented than I was when I was 18 because she’s had all these talent pathways and resources.

“It’s phenomenal to see and if you build it, they do come and they just thrive in the opportunities.”