PFA release Matildas report on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup outlining success

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have published a new report on the Matildas and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup that showcase positive numbers regarding the growth of the women’s game.

After a successful World Cup and a record-breaking A-League Women’s campaign in many areas, this comprehensive report is a guideline to FIFA and the AFC on how to tackle the current problems and challenges.

The report presents four pivotal recommendations that they believe will significantly contribute to the ongoing growth and success of women’s football. These include:

– A-League Women Professionalisation

The report suggests that it is imperative that the A-League Women adopts full-time professionalism as soon as possible to allow players to maximise their potential and produce the next generation of Matildas.

It currently lacks in that department compared to the top European leagues and is under threat from falling behind.

The A-League Women’s league has provided a crucial development platform for Australian football’s most successful, valuable, and powerful assets.

Every Matilda named in the World Cup squad had played in the A-League Women’s competition, playing a combined 1,953 matches prior to the World Cup.

– Equal World Cup Prize Money

Prize money for the 2023 Women’s World Cup was one quarter that of the 2022 Men’s World Cup. FIFA has suggested it intends to equalise prize money for the 2026-2027 cycle, but it has added a caveat that this is contingent on commercial outcomes.

However, the PFA pushes for FIFA to start their commitment now in order to build a foundation that will breed marketing and commercial success rather than wait.

The evidence from this recent World Cup suggests commercial success and potential is there if the funding gets lifted to allow it to grow.

– Increased Club Solidarity Fund

The report’s third recommendation, an increased Club Solidarity Fund, is an urgent call to action.

The Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund for 2023 was US$11.5 million, just 5.5% of the men’s 2022 fund.

A substantial increase to the Women’s World Cup Club Solidarity Fund for 2027 would provide a massive stimulus package to women’s football and unlock investment in the environments where players spend the majority of their time.

The PFA consider this to be an imperative move.

– Player input into Scheduling

As the women’s football calendar expands, the report emphasises the importance of including players in decision-making processes.

In the report, it suggested FIFPRO found that 60% of World Cup players felt they did not have enough rest after the tournament before returning to club duties. Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley played for Arsenal just 17 days after the World Cup final.

Ensuring player welfare and competition integrity will create a sustainable and thriving environment for women’s football.

In the Executive Summary, it outlined many statistics and facts to come as a result of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Funding

The tournament generated a significant amount of money for a range of stakeholders. Football Australia (FA) estimated the tournament provided $1.32 billion in economic benefits to Australia.

FA’s Legacy ’23 strategy unlocked $398 million of government funding for women’s sports facilities and programs, of which two thirds would primarily benefit football.

‘The Golden Generation’

The home World Cup aligned with the peak of the Matildas’ golden generation of players. Fifteen of the squad were also part of the 2019 World Cup. The eight players aged between 28 and 30 played 59% of the Australia’s match minutes at the tournament. The data flags that there is a challenging period of transition on the horizon.

A-League Women’s growth

A-League Women clubs have also benefited from an organic increase in attendances and memberships as a result of the World Cup’s success.

This includes holding records such as Average attendance, Total attendance, Most in a single game, and Most memberships in league history.

CBA Competitive Advantage

Nearly two thirds (64%) of the Matildas felt their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was a competitive advantage at the World Cup. The CBA guaranteed world class conditions in the four years preceding the tournament (equal to the Socceroos).

Great conditions

The player survey found generally positive feedback about the conditions, facilities, and environment during the World Cup camp.

The legacy and impact this World Cup has left this country is immense, with the numbers in the report suggesting many avenues like the future of the Matildas and the domestic league are progressing at an alarmingly high rate.

Conclusion:

The four recommendations made by the FA do suggest change is imperative and the product still has a long way to go before it maximises its commercial and on field growth but overall the report was quite positive.

Newcastle Jets’ new owners add key pieces for upcoming season

Newcastle Jets’ new owners, Maverick Sports Partners, have hired Ken Schembri as General Manager of Football and Ben Hawes as General Manager of Commercial, Digital and Marketing for this upcoming season.

The appointment of Schembri and Hawes reaffirms Maverick Sports Partners’ intent to invest in high-quality resources, which should excite Newcastle fans for this upcoming season.

Schembri had previously worked with the reigning champions, the Central Coast Mariners, being an essential part of establishing the Central Coast Mariners Football Academy and their Centre of Excellence when he joined in 2014.

Schembri will manage the A-League Men’s roster, oversee player performance and development, and handle recruitment for all football departments.

The Mariner’s Academy has produced many young and exciting Australian talent including Garang Kuol and Max Balard who have all gone to join clubs in Europe after their time in Gosford. Schembri has most recently played a key role in Central Coast’s recent success as Head of Football.

Maverick Sports Partners Director Maurice Bisetto commented about the new additions.

“We are excited to have both Ken and Ben join the Newcastle Jets team. They will be integral to the strategy and direction of the Club’s New Era, providing expertise and support, on and off the pitch,” said Bisetto in a club statement.

These two joined the Jets after the club were bought by the Australian company only last month.

Hawes has prior experience in Sponsorship, Marketing and Content roles at the National Rugby League, Sportsbet, BlueBet and Sydney FC.

Hawes will focus on expanding and diversifying the clubs commercial revenue streams which includes growing the sponsorship portfolio. He will also deal with commercialising the club’s digital channels as well as implementing new marketing and fan engagement strategies.

Due to these recent moves, Newcastle have the potential to produce exciting Australian talent and grow its brand across the league which will help the club continue to improve both on and off the pitch and ultimately strengthen their stability for future seasons.

Football Coaches Australia and Martyn Buckie team up for ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) and Martyn Buckie will host an online session on Monday, July 29 at 7:30pm AEST.

As part of ‘Benefits of Micro Coaching Sessions’, Buckie will present insights on the benefits of micro coaching sessions for children and youth coaches.

Coaches will get a full understanding on what ‘Micro Sessions’ are and how to implement them into training sessions. He will explain the benefits they provide to both players and coaches and how to design effective ‘Micro Session’ practices.

Buckie is currently the ‘Grassroots Coach Education and Development Manager’ with the Scottish Football Association. He is a UEFA A Licence and Scotttish Advanced Children’s Licence holder. In addition, he is also the advanced Children’s Licence Tutor and Course Manager.

He has a wealth of practical coaching experience as Academy Coach at both Stenhousemuir FC and Falkirk FC.

Attendance to this event will qualify for one-hour CPD with Football Australia.

Sign up via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/martyn-buckie-benefits-of-micro-coaching-sessions-tickets-940768212047?aff=oddtdtcreator

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