As a proud Westfield Matilda and Canberra United Westfield W-League player, who fully respects the previous champions of our great sport, I was deeply honoured to have been awarded the Julie Dolan medal for the 2011/12 W-League season.
Unfortunately my commitments with Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga prevented me from attending the recent Hyundai A-League & Westfield W-League Awards night, but I cannot express how proud I am to belong to such a fantastic group of people within Canberra United and the Matildas as we continue to champion women’s sport in Australia.
The W-League is the future of women’s football in Australia. It is also the dream of many young girls who want to pursue the journey of "chasing leather" around the world.
I can’t emphasise how important it is for young people to have positive role models. What is more favourable than a group of young women striving together for the pure love for a sport? Collectively we epitomise what it means to be athletes.
I’ve heard from afar some of the difficulties currently facing the W-league. What a shame for it to be considered a “liability”.
I have never commented publicly on the issue of money. Focusing solely on it now won’t satisfy me or the potential impact of this article. It is very clear money is the main concern, as always.
We all appreciate funding is a necessity; however for most of us (ladies, if you don’t mind me commenting on your behalf...) it has never been our main goal and if it were we would have all retired a very long time ago.
The game in Australia is stronger than ever. The W-League is a clear pathway for young girls to seeking to be future Matildas.
Without the W-League, where would that leave the imagination for these girls, to dream and aim to be the next Cailtin Foord or Collette McCallum?
We must maintain a presence within the women’s sporting sphere, and helping to raise the promote the benefits of an active lifestyle has many positives for the community as a whole.
You don’t have to strive to be an elite athlete - purely strive to enjoy and your health will improve as a result. I encourage not only girls and woman but people of all ages, to be active. Football is a great gateway for this.
As individuals we all have own pursuits and desires, but I believe one of the greatest aspects of sport is when for one moment in time, we unite and together strive to achieve a common goal. How innately special is that?
We cannot ignore the importance of women to this beautiful game - after all we do make up half of the world’s population... In terms of football’s growth in participation, women and girls are leading the way throughout the world.
So here’s my advice - buckle up people. The ride ain’t always going to be smooth, and statistically we probably aren’t the most skilled drivers... – but let’s find a solution.
Keep up the chase, I say.
“The way I see it, W-League is a massive asset, and we should promote it as an asset, not an expense.”
Westfield Matildas coach Tommy Sermanni.
“For those unable to pick it, this is an upward trend. None of that would have happened without the semi-professional league in which all of the national players compete.”
Kathryn Hicks, deputy sports editor, WA Today
“If there are no heroes, no role models, no league to aspire to, how do we hook them and make them lifelong lovers of the game? You can't ignore a large part of the population and expect it to have no effect.”