With just under two months until the beginning of the Westfield W-League, the FFA and PFA have taken steps designed to accelerate the growth of the competition.
A joint working party has been announced to ensure the continued growth and commercialisation of the Westfield W-League, which begins on November 5.
“Football has had a national women's league since we launched the Westfield W-League in 2008/9 and has enjoyed strong growth over that period,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
Brisbane Roar will open the ninth edition of the Westfield W-League against Sydney FC.
Brisbane Roar FC, along with remaining Westfield W-League clubs will be included in the Working Party, designed to build upon strong foundations and provide direction and goals for the future in the following areas:
- Competition structure
- Competition format
- Club infrastructure
- Players' terms and conditions.
PFA CEO John Didulica said the players were committed to ensuring the Working Group was successful in advancing the interests of the sport.
“Football offers unparalleled career opportunities for an increasing number of young Australian women, through its position as the fastest growing team sport and through its established global pathways,” Didulica said.
The Westfield W-League 2016/17 season will feature a record number of double headers with Hyundai A-League games, providing an opportunity for more spectators to watch Australia's top level female footballers in action.
The Roar Women will play two matches at Suncorp Stadium before Hyundai A-League matches on December 11 (versus Adelaide United) and January 7 (versus Western Sydney Wanderers).
Didulica says the professionalisation of the competition will enhance the opportunity for hundreds of female footballers to play football at the highest standard domestically and internationally.
“The Westfield W-League is a critical cornerstone of women’s football and a critical step toward international success," he said.
Head of Westfield W-League Greg O’Rourke agreed that the working group would further enhance the solid foundations that has been built during the first eight seasons of the Westfield W-League.
“The focus now is on building a league which is sustainable but more professional on many levels to ensure growth for the club and players alike,” O’Rourke said.
“We need to ensure the platform allows us to move to more games for the players and fans with the addition of more rounds and potentially more teams.
“The growth of the league and the resulting revenues will work hand in hand with meeting the expectations of the community and players around wages and conditions.”