Football Federation Australia (FFA) have released the Westfield W-League 2011/12 season draw.
Link to full draw here
Adelaide United will open proceedings to Westfield W-League season four when they take on a Canberra United in their first of two Hyundai A-League double header matches at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The opening weekend of fixtures will also see Westfield W-League 2011 Champions Brisbane Roar against Sydney FC in a Westfield W-League 2011 Grand Final re-match at Leichhardt Oval in what will be the first of four National Youth League double header fixtures.
Westfield W-League 2011/12 will see the seven team competition play 35 matches over the 12 week season from the October 21 kick-off and finish on January 28 with the Westfield W-League 2012 Grand Final.
ABC TV will again cover the ‘match of the week’ live and exclusive on ABC1 throughout the 14 week competition that includes the Westfield W-League 2012 Finals Series.
Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Canberra United, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory and Sydney FC will again challenge for the Westfield W-League title with strong recruitment in the off-season leaving the Championship wide open.
Sydney FC and Westfield Matildas striker Kyah Simon knows the Westfield W-League well having played in all three seasons to date and scooped last season’s awards.
“As each year goes by the competition gets tougher and tougher,” said Simon.
“The Westfield W-League is quickly growing into one of the strongest and most competitive leagues in women’s football with all the teams involved rapidly improving the standard is only going to get better and better.
“Last season gave me a huge amount of confidence and played a big part in my selection in the Westfield Matildas team for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year.
“I know my performances in the Westfield W-League were a major factor in mine, and I’m sure many other players, national team selection and I am sure this year will unearth even more talented players.”
While the Westfield W-League regularly sees more international players coming into the league the career pathway for home-grown talent has also improved as witnessed by the emergence of young stars Teigen Allen, Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily van Egmond, who is currently playing in Denmark.
This season also sees a host of new coaches enter the league, adapting styles of play and refreshing the Westfield W-League in season four.
For the first time international coaches come directly into the league with Canberra United bringing in former Czech Republic international Jitka Klimkova, while Adelaide United have appointed former New Zealand U17s coach David Edmondson.
Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory have both appointed home grown talents in Clayton Zane and Jamie Harnwell respectively while more female coaches are being brought into the league including former Westfield Matildas star Joey Peters at Newcastle.
“The level of coaches entering the Westfield W-League this season should add extra quality to the competition and exhibit some very exciting play,” said FFA Technical Director Han Berger.
“I have no doubt that this season of the Westfield W-League will show the quality of the players that we are developing in Australia and also see some of our young coaches get a first taste of top level football as they begin their careers.”
This season sees three Hyundai A-League double header matches and four National Youth League double headers giving more fans the opportunity to catch more of our talents female footballers in action across the country.
The Westfield W-League 2011/12 season will also travel to more areas in Australia to showcase the elite pathway for women in football including matches in Cleveland, Geelong and the Sunshine Coast.