FFA Announce Growth in Female Participation in 2019

In a recent statement, the FFA have revealed nearly two million women and girls across the country played football in 2019.

An 11% increase was made across all seven states and territories, with Victoria achieving a rise of over 50%.

“Our growth is testament to everyone connected with our great game. It’s due in no small part to the progress we’ve made as a sport over the past 24 months and the way our clubs and volunteers have responded and contributed to this achievement,” said Peter Filopoulos, CEO of Football Victoria.

“We have a shared aspiration for our sport to continue to grow and develop, and I’m certain we’ve not even scratched the surface as to the continued growth of our game.

“Our firm agenda to support the ongoing growth and development of our game in Victoria continues through our strategic plan, FootbALLways, which was announced last year.  The plan is about uniting, inspiring and enabling Victorians of ALL backgrounds and abilities to live and love football, for life.”

Women’s sports in Australia has been on a steady incline in the last few years, thanks in part to various different sports all doing their bit.

The AFLW, introduced in 2017 has been a massive influence for young girls, as well as the success of our women’s national cricket team.

They recently captured the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in a thumping win over India, showcasing them as one of the country’s most successful international sides.

Foxtel also recently used channel 507 as a pop-up channel for women’s sports only called FOXW. It was only a temporary change however, one would suspect it’s something that is being seriously considered down the line as permanent.

The quality and success of Australia’s national women’s soccer team needs no explanation.

FFA CEO James Johnson and FFA Head of Football Sarah Walsh both commented on the census results, stating that they couldn’t be happier.

“I’m particularly pleased that this hard work has resulted in large increases in the numbers of both coaches and volunteers, as they add tremendous value to our game, and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their commitment to our sport.”, said Johnson.

“I’m delighted that more women and girls than ever are now playing football,” Walsh said.

“FFA is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in football, and we have seen a number of female-football initiatives in the past year that have proved very popular.”

Walsh went on to talk about the importance of the Women’s World Cup bid, something that has been gaining traction for many months now.

“There’s still a long way to go for female football in this country and a lot of growth to be experienced in the coming years. We are aiming for 50:50 gender parity by 2027 and hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand would fast track our push to reach this target.”

50/50 gender parity as Walsh calls it is perhaps the greatest challenge facing the FFA. Whilst the women’s game is getting the push it fully deserves, there will still be detractors.

2027 seems like a long time away, but unless the FFA can successfully bid on the Women’s World Cup as well as successfully develop our brightest up and coming female players, time will fly by.

The results of this census are certainly promising and that would be mostly down to the success of our elite players.

Yes, there is a huge gap between the community and elite levels. But the two will always be connected, especially when it comes to younger aspiring players.

Do you think that the FFA can reach 50/50 by 2027? Furthermore, how much of an impact do you think the Women’s World Cup would have on that 50/50 goal if the tournament was held here in Australia?

Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more articles just like this delivered to your inbox every Friday.


Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

Football SA extending Development Centres throughout regional and metropolitan areas

Football SA Development Centres

Football South Australia (SA) announced the expansion of its Development Centres for boys and girls from ages nine to 13.

This expansion will offer more football and more opportunities for players in the Barossa, Noarlunga, Port Lincoln and Metropolitan Adelaide.

The five new centres add to the four currently located in the Limestone Coast, Whyalla, Riverland and the Adelaide Hills, taking the total up to nine centres in 2024.

Much of the talk has been the incredible impact that the home soil FIFA Women’s World Cup has had on football participation in the country across all age groups. There has been a notable uptick in player participation in regional areas , registering a 16.5% increase. Across the entire state, there is overall growth of 9%.

The key goal of the Football SA Development Centres expansion is to lay the grassroots foundation in place and create a suitable environment for kids so that their talent is recognised and captured by coaches.

These added sessions as a result of the expansion are designed not to conflict with existing club activities and will enhance players’ fundamental footballing skills.

Football SA Technical Director Michael Cooper touched on the opportunity this opens up for player development at the early ages.

“When we started the original program in 2023, we had the vision to implement a state-wide program that provides equal opportunities for players to progress to our State programs and offerings, which are highly regarded nationally,” Cooper said via Football SA press release.

“Taking our programs to regional South Australia has prevented the need for young players to travel week in week out to Adelaide for specialised coaching. This illustrates our support for regional associations and pathways we collectively offer.

“We are excited to see all players come together at events such as the State Development Carnival in July and I am confident more players will be identified from regional areas in the future.”

An issue Football South Australia touched on in their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan was the lack of regional players making the transition into state and regional squads.

The key function of Football SA, as mentioned on their website, has always been player development and to increase participation. This Development Centre expansion will service the regional communities and allow potential talented players, who weren’t recognised before, to grow through a natural pathway up until they represent state squads.

Cádiz CF outlines plan for new sports technology centre

Cádiz Sportech City

LALIGA football club Cádiz CF has unveiled plans to construct a brand-new sports technology centre which will be known as ‘Sportech City’.

The centre is expected to deliver significant results in the sports technology industry, and assert Cádiz’s position in the top-flight of Spanish football.

In addition, the centre aims to make a positive impact in areas outside of the football club, most notably in health and education. A short video released on its official YouTube channel helped outline the proposed facilities within Sportech City.

These include:

  • A 7,500-square-metre data centre.
  • A dedicated sports university.
  • 5,600 square metres dedicated to laboratories and prototype validation for user experience.
  • An events/congress centre.
  • A technological business incubator centre with 6,100 square metres of offices.
  • Health and medical services.
  • A designated retail zone.

Sportech City is the latest plan to be announced since La Liga introduced its ‘Impulso’ agreement with CVC Capital Partners in 2021. The agreement provided nearly two billion euros (3.3 million AUD) for Spanish football clubs to invest in technology, innovation, internationalisation, and sporting growth initiatives.

Plans for the centre are being coordinated between the club and professional services firm KPMG, who believe the centre will stimulate the local economy. It is estimated that 4,000 jobs will be created for the construction of Sportech City alone, with a further 2,900 jobs expected for the running of the centre.

According to sources within the club, Cádiz CF hopes to generate a minimum of 15 million euros (24.7 million AUD) per year once it begins operation.

Cádiz CF, like many clubs that sit beneath the traditional giants of Spanish football, have suffered a turbulent off-field history.

However, under president Manuel Vizcaíno’s stewardship since 2019, the club attracted overseas investment which helped them return to the top-flight of Spanish football for just the fourth time in its 123-year existence.

Sportech City is hoped to be the next initiative under an ambitious Vizcaíno that will bring success not just to the football club, but to the city of Cádiz.

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