Exiled from their homeland, the Afghanistan women’s national team begins its journey back to international football

An Afghan refugee women’s team is training to compete in its first national season of Australian rules football in Melbourne.

The athletes have reunited after fleeing Kabul last August.

Melbourne Victory is helping players prepare for their first matches in March.

“We’re on top of a lot of work that’s been done over the last couple of months,” said Victory director of football John Didulica.

“It’s what they really want to do to make their mark globally, to assert their independence through participation in football.

“That has not been easy because they have family in Afghanistan and they fear for the fate of those family members.

Four members of the Afghan refugee women's team line up during training.
Director of football John Didulic says Melbourne Victory will do everything it can to help these Afghan women make their mark globally. (Supplied: Melbourne Victoria)

The quality of the equipment is being evaluated; Victoria is likely to enter the team in a state league division two or three competition.

“It’s wonderful,” goalkeeper Fati said (the players asked ABC Sport to use their nicknames to protect their privacy).

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