Football Australia have welcomed the Federal Government’s pledge to provide $12 million of support to elite women’s football in Australia over the next two years.
The Federal Government announced that it would be providing a grant to Football Australia in support of their High-Performance objectives for the Westfield Matildas, Young Matildas and Junior Matildas which will include:
- The scheduling of eight additional Westfield Matildas international matches in preparation for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
- Bolstering of crucial High-Performance resources providing additional support for the Westfield Matildas, Young Matildas, and Junior Matildas
- International tours and domestic camps for existing national youth teams to support the pipeline of talent and competitive depth for the Westfield Matildas with a world class program for the Young and Junior Matildas
The funding ties into Football Australia’s Legacy ’23 plan by supporting Australia’s pipeline of talent and competitive depth with a world class program in the lead in to the home tournament (co-hosted with New Zealand). It will also allow for increased community engagement of Australia’s vast footballing family, including those from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Football Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson acknowledged and thanked the Federal Government for their support of Australia’s Women’s High-Performance Programs over the next two years.
“Last year we completed a Women’s Performance Gap Report, which offered an objective lens into the current landscape facing Australia’s most talented female footballers, benchmarking Australia against eleven other leading female football nations,” he said.
“This deep-dive helped to provide us with a strong understanding of where we sit globally, with the overwhelming takeaway that we must collectively do more to provide opportunities to elite, and prospectively elite, female footballers.
“We are thrilled that the Australian Government have listened to our research, and have opted to support the Matildas, women’s football, and football broadly as our senior team gears up to compete on home soil in 2023 – an event that will be the biggest on Australian shores since Sydney 2000.
“This funding will also provide the next generation of talent the opportunity to play and develop against the world’s best, ensuring that they can perform and act locally, nationally, and internationally as role models”.
Senior Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr welcomed the High-Performance Funding as well, acknowledging its timeliness at a crucial time in the women’s football cycle.
“I think it’s massive. The funding will help us to build the game and have a stronger national team to compete at major international tournaments such as the Olympics, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and FIFA Women’s World Cup,” she said.
“As we grow stronger, both at youth and senior level, Australians will be inspired to engage with football, get active, and gain a broader awareness of the truly global nature of our sport, which helps people to understand and respect different cultures.”
In addition to the High-Performance component, part of the Australian Government’s Funding announcement includes support for Football Australia’s Club Development Program.
“This funding will enable Football Australia, in partnership with its Member Federations and other stakeholders, to deliver enhanced services and engagement to football Clubs, participants, coaches, and administrators across the nation,” Johnson added.
“Through education and support, we will be able to help grassroots and community Clubs improve their capacities, which will boost the experience and environment our diverse, multicultural, and large football family feel when they engage with the game in a variety of formats.
“Overall, this announcement is a great launching pad for our Legacy ‘23 plan and we look forward to continuing to work with the Federal, State, and Territory Governments, as well as our nine Member Federations, to fully realise our Legacy ‘23 plan across participation, community facilities, leadership and development, as well as tourism and international engagement.
“There is so much to come, and a stronger partnership between Governments at all levels and football will unlock the true potential of our sport for everyone in our country, especially leading into the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.”