Author Topic: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE  (Read 2509 times)

Offline Fatty10

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NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« on: July 29, 2008, 11:20:32 AM »
Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Westfield today announced a landmark agreement in support of the fastest growing team sport for women in the country – women’s football.

The Westfield Group's support involves women’s football ranging from the Westfield Championship for Girls, the establishment of a new national women’s league known as the Westfield W-League, and the national women's team to be known as the Westfield Matildas.

Westfield has also extended its partnership in respect of the Qantas Socceroos and the Hyundai A-League.

“We are delighted to announce this new and historic agreement for women’s football,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley.

“Women’s football is a big growth sport which is enjoyed by many girls and women and watched by many mums and grandmothers each weekend, and it’s terrific to have the support of Westfield in our efforts to grow and develop the sport even further.”

Buckley said that women’s football has enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 6.3% over the past five years, especially on the back of the performance of the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup in 2007.

“The Westfield Matildas are one of the highest achieving sporting teams in Australia, having made four Women’s World Cup tournaments and several Olympic Games, and football offers a unrivalled career path for talented elite women athletes,” Buckley said.

Westfield’s Group Managing Director, Steven Lowy, said that women’s football is a great strategic fit for the business.

“Last year there were nearly 450 million visits to Westfield shopping centres, 70% of those visits were made by women. What better way to connect that huge number of women who visit Westfield each year than through this sponsorship of one of the fastest-growing sports in the country.

“We have planned a range of activities including player appearances, coaching clinics and game hospitality designed to create real value for our customers across our 44 regional shopping centres in Australia.

“It is one way of us giving back something to the community in a way which encourages a healthy, active and positive lifestyle. Girls will now have more resources, better competitions, more media attention and a clear and organised pathway to the top for our elite women players.”

The Federal Government also contributed funds towards the cost of establishing a televised national women’s league as part of its 2007 election promises.

Broadcast rights are still under discussion.

Buckley said the Westfield W-League will comprise teams from each of the seven Australian Hyundai A-League clubs as well as Canberra, and will kick-off at the end of October.

Offline BillyBoy

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 12:16:19 PM »
Thanks for posting that Fatty. It's interesting to hear what is going on down under.

Netball beware: W-League has high goals

July 29, 2008

FOOTBALL is ready to challenge the supremacy of netball as the semi-professional team sport for Australian women after the launch yesterday of the W-League.

The eight-team competition will kick off in October, and while players will initially receive modest wages - each team will operate under a $150,000 salary cap - the league represents a major commitment by its three major stakeholders, inaugural naming-rights sponsor Westfield, Football Federation Australia and the Federal Government. The league is expected to cost $3-4million a year to run, and while the early focus will be on building the sport's profile, organisers are confident they will be able to entice overseas-based Matildas to return home and attract a handful of quality imports.

Football has not had a women's national league since 2004 - a competition that was a development platform for state-based academies and struggled for profile. Since then the women's game has grown enormously - 100,000 players are registered in Australia - while the Matildas' unprecedented success in last year's World Cup generated impressive ratings for SBS, spawned a successful documentary, and alerted business and government to the potential of the sport.

The Federal Government recently made good on its election pledge for a four-year, $32million investment in football, part of which will be used to support the W-League, in particular through broadcasting. SBS and ABC are vying for the TV rights.

Federal Sports Minister Kate Ellis concedes other women's sports might be miffed by the focus on football, but said at yesterday's launch: "I want to make it clear we're not picking favourites, but frankly why shouldn't there be a women's league? When you have a look at the participation rates, they're quite staggering. We want to make sure there is a solid pathway in place so these girls have role models, and be encouraged to keep playing."

Westfield's backing has ensured the W-League will get off the ground.

Seven clubs will assume the name, colours and branding of A-League clubs, while the eighth franchise has been awarded to a new entity, Canberra United. Significantly, several A-League clubs have indicated a preference to use the W-League for curtain-raisers rather than the newly formed men's national youth league.

Michael Cockerill

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/news/football/netball-beware-wleague-has-high-goals/2008/07/28/1217097149803.html


Offline OOH Fayefan

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2008, 03:36:52 PM »
..very much a womens spectator sport down there then....guess all the blokes are fighting... ;)
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Offline BillyBoy

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 04:34:19 PM »
Another interesting aspect about Australian football (soccer) is that it is currently played during their summer. Presumably, from what I've read, to avoid Australian Football League (Aussie rules) and Australian Rugby League seasons, and therefore helping soccer from being marginalised in the media. As well as providing better playing surfaces and spectator comfort owing to the better weather.

Offline OOH Fayefan

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 04:36:38 PM »
...my preference is always to play and watch soccer in the winter....they can keep summer footbal...but I can see where they are coming from...and wish them all the best, cobber ;)
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Offline Fatty10

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2008, 03:46:06 AM »
Do you reckon many overseas players would be interested in playing in this new league in Oz or do you think its a bit to early to attract big name overseas players? Just curious

Offline BillyBoy

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2008, 08:40:44 AM »
That's a bit difficult to answer. I suppose one of the main factors that would attract overseas players is the amount of money that was on offer. A salary cap of $150,000 per team doesn't sound that much, but I'm not sure how many other leagues have any type of salary. So the W-League may have some advantage. I suppose Australia is also seen as being positive from a lifestyle perspective, so that is another plus point.

It will be in competition with the WPS in the US though, so looking at those factors I would guess that there wouldn't be that many players coming in. But the league seems to be well supported in most areas like finance etc, and so there could be the chance for future growth if it succeeds. We might even end up watching it on TV over here.  :)

What do you think? I suppose an early objective might be to get players like Lisa de Vanna back.

Offline Fatty10

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2008, 10:25:54 AM »
I totally agree that the money they can offer at the moment isnt much. But hopefully over time if its successful and more sponsors coming on board the salary cap may be increased. Defintely bringing some of the aussie girls back from overseas like de vanna, heather garriock, collette mcCallum, munoz and others playing in leagues around the world is a priority and i think the girls would want to come back home. I hope it becomes one of the strongest leagues in the world.

Offline BillyBoy

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Re: NEW PRO WOMENS FOOTBALL LEAGUE IN AUSTRALIA; THE W-LEAGUE
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2008, 11:40:09 PM »
Westfield W-League draw released

Monday, 6 October 2008

The new national women's football competition, the Westfield W-League, is a step closer today with the release of the draw for the inaugural season by Football Federation Australia (FFA).

The first round of the Westfield W-League will be held on 25-26 October with the opening match between Perth Glory and Sydney FC at Members Equity Stadium to be televised live.

"The Westfield W-League gives talented women players the opportunity to improve their skills and gain valuable match practice in a high quality competition," said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

"The Westfield W-League will also provide a clear development pathway to the three national women's teams."

Buckley said that women’s football has enjoyed an average annual growth rate of 6.3% over the past five years and is the fastest growing team sport for girls and women in the country.

"There are 100,000 registered female football players involved in formal competition, and we estimate there are even more who play informally."

He said that women's football is in a growth phase internationally as well.

"In the past 12 months, the Westfield Matildas, Westfield Young Matildas and Westfield Under 17 Women played 30 international matches in countries as diverse as China, Brazil, New Zealand, Vietnam and the USA to name just a few.

"We expect the Westfield W-League to be a big contributor to improved performances on the world football stage for Australia's women's teams."

Eight teams will compete in the Westfield W-League – one from each of the seven Australian Hyundai A-League teams, with Canberra United rounding out the draw.

Other match-ups for Round 1 of the Westfield W-League include:

* Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners at Telstra Dome, also on 25 October at 4.00pm AEDT as a curtain-raiser for the Hyundai A-League match

* Queensland Roar v Adelaide United at Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre at 5.00pm local on 25 October, and

* Newcastle Jets v Canberra United at Wanderers Oval, Broadmeadow, at 1.30pm AEDT on 26 October.

As well as the four grounds used in Round 1, games will also be held at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Bob Jane Stadium and Epping Stadium in Melbourne, Spencer Park and Perry Park in Brisbane, McKellar Park in Canberra, Parramatta Stadium and Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney and Oakes Oval at Lismore.

The Westfield W-League 2009 finals series will be contested by the top four teams at the end of the ten-round competition, with the Grand Final to be held on Saturday 17 January.

Buckley said that arrangements are in place for a host broadcaster for the Westfield W-League with the broadcaster set to make an announcement later in the month.

Source: http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/InsideFFA/default.aspx?s=insideffa_newsfeatures_newsitem&id=24047

Full fixtures can be found by following the link.