How good is this! But wait there’s more…
The Westfield W-League is now upon us and I would love nothing more than to see the “Football Family” out there in full support of our girls.
What a great year it has been for football in Australia. In no particular order there has been our qualification to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, a greatly improved TV deal, record breaking Hyundai A-League figures, great boisterous crowds thanks largely to the Wanderers and Victory, greatly improved quality of play in the A-League, the Del Piero-Ono-Heskey factor, the visits of the mighty Liverpool FC and Manchester United, the roll out of an updated National Curriculum and most recently the appointment of Ange Postecoglou, a highly successful Australian coach to take the Socceroos to the next level. The powers that be should be congratulated and look to continue this juggernaut we call football.
Once again the new season has started fantastically. Season nine of the A-League has continued to improve in quality on and off the pitch and the popularity of the game is reaching even higher levels - and its stock is continuing to rise.
Many moons ago as a player and fan of the game, I was desperately dreaming of this type of success and popularity for our game here in Australia. When questioned about whether I was sad about missing this opportunity as a player my answer was that it was always my wish to be able to watch football as an old timer with 50,000 fellow fans on a weekly basis. We may not be there yet but we could well be on our way. A small part of my ego, well maybe a big part, would want me on the field, but my heart and head is very happy to be cheering away in the stands with my “Football Family”.
Though I have this feeling that something is missing in this picture! Call it greed or call it my passion for the game and for my “Football Family”. The Westfield W-League is now upon us and I would love nothing more than to see the “Football Family” out there in full support of our girls.
The question I ask is can we look to support our W-League girls in a similar fashion to the A-League, or the Matildas in a similar fashion to the Socceroos? I think one day we will. I am not naïve enough to think this will happen overnight, but down the track I think it will happen and should happen if we are serious about making football the biggest sport in Australia. The potential football has in this country in enormous and the women-s game is a hugely important component of making the sport untouchable.
Recently I was lucky enough to see what can be achieved in women-s sport and specifically football. As the Assistant Coach I was able to be amongst 20 thousand fans watching our beloved Matildas take on the mighty United States. Fans of all ages were present and dominated by families and young starry eyed girls. Football is greatly supported in the US and the fans have a lifelong passion for the game and affiliation to the game allowing it to continue to grow. I don-t see why we can-t look to emulate this support and to reach unprecedented support for our girls over the coming years. The finishing touches to my football dream for this country!
With the W-League season upon us and Matildas games around the corner, I urge you all, adults and children alike to look out for your nearest game and to go down and show your support for ‘our- girls as you would your A-League team or the Socceroos. Have a look, you will be pleasantly surprised at the quality on display and with your family members we can be a part of the growth of the women-s game on and off the field, bringing it in line with all the good things we are witnessing in football in Australia.