AFLW boss happy with balance

AFL Women's boss Nicole Livingstone says she's comfortable with the balance being struck between winning and attractive football.

Low scoring and congestion dominated the round-one matches - specifically the season opener between Carlton and Collingwood.

It prompted the AFL to issue a directive to clubs to make changes aimed at limiting the amount of players around the ball.

From round two onwards, teams will be required to set up for centre bounces with five defenders, six midfielders and five forwards.

While the changes have provoked negative feedback, Livingstone insisted they had involved prior consultation with coaches.

"We opened up by asking them what their thoughts on the round were and what they would like to be able to see in terms of improvement and what the challenges are," Livingstone told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

"This is not a rule change, this is a spirit of the game initiative that we have had unified agreement from all the coaches.

"It's not the best-case scenario to be doing this during a season, but we also have to put in perspective that the AFLW season is seven rounds.

"It's not the same as the AFL season, so we couldn't wait until the end of round seven or after a grand final.

'It won't be the last time we pick up the phone to chat to the coaches and it is a very collaborative environment that we have with the coaching staff."

Legendary AFL player and coach Leigh Matthews weighed into the debate on Thursday, saying coaches always focused on winning above all else.

"AFL must realise coaches only care about the spectacle at coach conferences ! " he tweeted.

"In the coaching box where the team performance buck stops with the coach the look of the game is irrelevant. How to win dominates. AFL are the sport's carers and must implement rules not requests."

Livingstone wasn't unduly concerned by the drop in TV ratings for the opening game between the Blues and the Magpies compared to the corresponding fixture last year.

She described the high figures for the 2017 game as a false economy given the historic nature of the occasion.

She was bullish about attendances last weekend and the potential crowds for round two.

Livingstone said talks were already underway for season three, with admission charges and larger player payments on the table.

''We will get to a fully professional AFLW at some stage, hopefully sooner than later we need to be thinking about the next five years, next ten years," Livingstone said.

"Once we do get to that stage where it's a female professional sporting league, we're going to have players from all over the world wanting to knock on the door."