FFA elevates Rae Dower to key women’s football advisory position

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is pleased to announce that Westfield Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower has extended her contract with FFA through to the end of 2022, while also assuming the role of Women’s Technical Advisor.

Dower has been at the helm of the Westfield Junior Matildas since 2017, and will continue her important work guiding and nurturing the next generation of elite Australian female footballers in close collaboration with FFA’s interim Technical Director, Trevor Morgan. 

FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said Dower’s decades of experience as a player and coach at various levels of the sport in Australia ensure she’s well placed to play a leading role in the long-term evolution and enhancement of Australia’s female football pathway.

“Rae’s knowledge of and passion for women’s football in Australia is undeniable, and with her strong network and connections in the sport we’re confident she will help us make improvements to the women’s pathway,” Johnson said.

“Women’s Football is central to the future growth and development of Australian football and we are proud to be creating an environment which is supportive of women entering senior administrative roles in football. Rae’s continuation as Westfield Junior Matildas Head Coach, in addition to her expanded scope as Women’s Technical Advisor, is a step we are taking directly in pursuit of the key measures proposed in Principle Ten of the XI Principles for the future of Australian football.

“As a former player, Westfield W-League Head Coach, and an experienced Coach Educator, Rae is well equipped to help FFA develop its women’s and girls’ competition structures, talent identification processes, and through her advocacy and advice, help the game grow its female player pool,” he said.

Rae Dower & Junior Matildas

Dower, who is based in Brisbane, said she’s looking forward to the challenge of contributing to the development of Australia’s female player pathway in tandem with her role as Head Coach of the Westfield Junior Matildas.

“This new dual role with FFA provides me with a great platform to continue to contribute to Australia’s female player pathway and processes and provide advice to Trevor (Morgan) and James (Johnson) regarding possible improvements we can make with the ultimate aim of fulfilling the vision outlined in the XI Principles,” Dower said.

“It’s a truly exciting time to be involved in women’s football in Australia and globally, with rapid growth in many areas of the sport currently being witnessed. Young girls and women have never had a better opportunity to develop a career in football, but there is much more that can be done to ensure our best young talents have every chance possible to progress from their grassroots club to the Westfield W-League and Westfield Matildas.”

Morgan believes Dower will make a significant contribution in her new dual role.

“It is vital that we have qualified, highly competent, and passionate people working within our youth national teams and pathways, and Rae has all three attributes in abundance,” Morgan said.

“This dual role means Rae will be able to directly affect the performance of our best young talent as Westfield Junior Matildas Head Coach, while also considering the big picture, evolving our processes, and sharing her knowledge to educate the wider football community.

“Since my appointment as interim Technical Director I have had some productive discussions with FFA’s Women’s Football Council, who shared our view that this (Women’s Technical Advisor) was an important role for the game to fill. Having Rae in this role will help FFA to deliver on numerous elements of Principle Ten of the XI Principles, which are inextricably linked to the ambitions for the game held by FFA’s Women’s Football Council.”

FFA Women’s Football Council Chair, Ros Moriarty, said: “This role was an identified priority within Council’s Women in Leadership portfolio, and it was great to collaborate with FFA, James, and Trevor and see a football trailblazer like Rae Dower appointed to it. We are pleased there will be a strategic female lens applied to the Technical Department, an area of the women’s game that needs more focus and support. We congratulate Rae and look forward to the leadership impact she will make in the technical space.”