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Western Australia officially declare support for 2023 Women’s World Cup bid

In recent times, the Victorian and South Australian governments have gotten onside with the 2023 Women’s World Cup hosting bid.

The Matildas are one of, if not our most decorated international sides and to say they deserve to host the largest women’s sporting tournament in the world is a severe understatement.

Ever since the bid was initially proposed, there have been strong suggestions that Perth and the state of WA would be integral to the makeup of the tournament.

On Saturday, WA Premier Mark McGowan and the state government officially declared that the state of Western Australia will indeed be a part of the bid to host a Women’s World Cup.

In theory, a Women’s World Cup would 100% work in Australia, despite clashes with the AFL and NRL seasons. With this in mind, matches at the 100,000 capacity MCG seem to be unlikely.

With that in mind, Perth has become a major talking point when it comes to a host city or where a potential final would be held. Now, with the WA government officially on board with the FFA’s proposed bid, that idea has a base.

The sport of soccer has seen a resurgence to a certain degree in recent times. Perth Glory have re-established themselves as an A-League powerhouse and were unlucky not to be crowned champions last season.

But when it comes to soccer in WA, the main talking point is Sam Kerr.

The Matildas captain is one of the poster girls for women’s soccer all across the globe. She recently made international headlines by signing for Chelsea’s women’s team in England. The Blues currently lead the FA Women’s National League, the Premier League equivalent for women.

She has been and continues to be an inspiration for up and coming soccer players in Australia, especially in her home state of Western Australia.

McGowan subsequently spoke about how it’s a potentially fantastic reward for the Matildas, but how beneficial it could be for his state.

“The WA Government is very excited at the prospect of being part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2023,” McGowan said.

“We have also partnered with FFA to secure at least two Socceroos games in Perth, including two guaranteed World Cup qualifiers next year and in 2021.

“The benefits to our State will be significant, in terms of having a major economic impact on and providing a massive increase in exposure to the rest of the world.”

We have previously spoken about the prospect of hosting a Women’s World Cup Down Under in 2023 and how it’s benefits would have no end.

The amount of aspiring female players will skyrocket, with many hoping to emulate the likes of Kerr, Lisa De Vanna, Steph Catley and Chloe Logarzo.

As Premier McGowan outlined, the increase in exposure across the globe would do a world of good. The Matildas are already a highly respected side, currently ranked 8th in the world by FIFA and ahead of international footballing powerhouses like Brazil, Spain and Italy.

The game in Australia would benefit hugely and more fans from around the world would start watching our domestic competitions, both male and female.

Compare this to the way in which Qatar became the number one topic everywhere when it was named the host of the 2022 Men’s World Cup.

When soccer fans think of Qatar, they automatically think to how they are hosting that competition, as well as how they recently stunned the continent of Asia by winning this year’s Asian Cup back in February.

The tournament is still two and a half years away and yet, talk about them and the tournament still continues. Imagine when the tournament actually gets underway.

The bid continues to attract major stakeholders and more and more people are getting #onside with it. It goes to show that women’s sport isn’t just emerging from the shadows, it’s becoming a genuine revolution and now, it’s viewed upon by the majority as just as important as the men’s game.

Let’s hope that the 2023 bid is successful because it would be the sustained interest that soccer in this country needs.

 

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

New Zealand Football confirms 2020/21 season details

New Zealand Football has confirmed the details and starting dates of its national competitions for the 2020/21 season, during October and November.

New Zealand Football has confirmed the details and starting dates of its national competitions for the 2020/21 season.

The national men’s football league, the ISPS Handa Premiership will start in November, while the National Women’s League will commence from the weekend of October 31.

COVID-19 has also forced some structural changes to be made to both the men’s and women’s competitions.

In the ISPS Handa Premiership, the competition will feature eight club instead of the usual 10 teams. The South Island teams, Southern United, Tasman United and Canterbury United Dragons, will merge for the upcoming season. They will play under the Canterbury United Dragons name.

The competition will retain its usual format of a regular season with each team playing each other twice before a finals series including semi-finals and a grand final – the latter is expected to be held in March 2021.

Plans for a promotion and relegation framework have been postponed and will be reviewed before the 2021/22 season.

The National Women’s League will be played as a single round robin competition for this season. A grand final will be held on the weekend of December 19. The competition will feature all seven women’s teams.

“It has taken a lot of work with our clubs and federations to get to this stage but we are excited to now be able to confirm initial details of our national competitions for the upcoming season,” Daniel Farrow, General Manager of Football for New Zealand Football said in a statement.

“While Covid-19 and the knock-on effect of shifting community football dates has had an impact on the length of competitions and, in the case of the ISPS Handa Premiership, the number of teams able to take part, running men’s, women’s and futsal national league competitions this year was a key priority and we are very pleased to be able to make that happen.

“We also want to acknowledge the support of Sport NZ and our on-going partnership with Trillian Trust as key contributors to staging competitions this season.”

The 2019/20 ISPS Handa Premiership was called off early in March due to COVID-19. Auckland City, who were leading the competition at the time, were declared champions.

Queensland features an abundance of Matildas

New figures show that Queensland's female development has been incredibly successful in finding new talent, who have represented the Westfield Matildas.

New figures show that Queensland’s female development has been incredibly successful in finding talent, who have represented the Westfield Matildas.

As part of Football Queensland’s latest findings, 40 homegrown players have gone on to represent the Australian Women’s National Team at major senior and youth tournaments since July 2012.

Katrina Gorry, Mackenzie Arnold and Hayley Raso (pictured) are a few examples of local talents working their way up the ranks during the last eight years and will be key contributors in the next Women’s World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

Gorry, Arnold and Raso spent time at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) before accomplishing themselves in the Westfield W-League and internationally.

Football Queensland and the QAS combined to launch a full-time training and playing program for upcoming talents in 2018.

“Our pathway is now the envy of every female footballer in the country,” Rae Dower said, a former Matilda and current Junior Matildas Head Coach.

“We’re fully committed to evolving the program and to helping as many female players in Queensland reach their full potential on and off the field through the creation of our high-performance environment.

“We’d love to help make dreams come true for Queensland players wanting to play for the Matildas in a home FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 and beyond.”

Football Federation Australia revealed more than 18,000 women and girls from Queensland played football in 2019, as part of the latest census findings – a three per cent increase on 2018.

“The numbers we have are very encouraging and we look forward to seeing Queensland produce many more Westfield Matildas,” FQ Technical Director Gabor Ganczer said.

“Having the FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil will be a big moment and objective for aspirational players and we are putting a lot of resources into helping them achieve their goals, not just now but permanently.”

Football Queensland provided every local player who has represented Australia at Olympic Games, World Cups or Continental Championships since the beginning of July in 2012:

Laura Alleway, Mackenzie Arnold, Mia Bailey, Angela Beard, Georgia Beaumont, Savannah Boller, Eliza Campbell, Kim Carroll, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Larissa Crummer, Isobel Dalton, Casey Dumont, Charlotte Farmer, Ciara Fowler, Mary Fowler, Sunny Franco, Shekinah Friske, Emily Gielnik, Brooke Goodrich, Katrina Gorry, Winonah Heatley, Elise Kellond-Knight, India Kubin, Aivi Luik, Afrikah McGladrigan, Teagan Micah, Ayesha Norrie (Kirby), Hollie Palmer, Clare Polkinghorne, Kezia Pritchard, Hayley Raso, Jamilla Rankin, Taylor Ray, Indiah-Paige Riley, Arina Tokunaga, Kaitlyn Torpey, Cortnee Vine, Natasha Wheeler, Brittany Whitfield, Tameka Yallop (Butt).

Junior football makes its return in Devonport

Football Queensland

After a delayed start due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Devonport Junior Soccer Association season began this past weekend.

Close to 700 juniors between the age of four and twelve were back on the football field in the city of Devonport.

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley was excited to see the children return to play the state’s favourite team sport.

“COVID-19’s impact was felt particularly hard on the north-west coast, creating a lot of uncertainty about whether the season could kick-off,” Mr Bulkeley said.

“To see children back out on the pitch again, having fun and being active is a great reward for whole community after a tough few months.

“With junior matches also starting across Burnie in the Western School Soccer Association earlier this month and the Northern Championship, WSL and NPL seasons underway, the football family on the north-west coast has finally returned to doing what they like best on the weekend – enjoying our great game.

“The 2020 season wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of all the volunteers, clubs and associations who have put in so many hours to make the return to football safe.

“On behalf of the entire Tasmanian football family I wholeheartedly thank everyone involved in rebooting football so players and families can again enjoy the vast array of health and social benefits playing the sport provides.

“I’d also like to thank our 2020 junior competition partners MyState Bank and Southern Cross Austero for their roles in helping get junior players back on the pitch safely and in time to fit in a meaningful season.”

DJSA President Richard Bidwell claimed there was a huge sense of relief to finally begin the football season.

“While this season may be shorter than usual, it’s been a lot busier behind the scenes, dealing with both the COVID delay and the building works at Meercroft Park.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved – from the DJSA staff and volunteers, to the schools and the Devonport City Council – for understanding the circumstances and making it possible for our kids to play.

“After being all set to go in March and then facing the unknown of how many players we’d have for 2020 if we could get a season in, it’s wonderful that football is finally back at Meercroft.”

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