Westfield Matilda sees the bid's benefit to the women's game

SALLY Shipard has seen her sport take monumental strides recently

SALLY Shipard has seen her sport take monumental strides recently but she reckons hosting the FIFA (men's) World Cup in 2022 would take women's football to a different level.

The benefits to men-s football in Australia has been discussed at length but the Qantas Matildas midfielder said the women-s game would benefit immensely, highlighting football-s wide-reaching power.

“When I was growing up in Wagga I always knew football was the fastest growing sport,-- she told www.australiabid.com.au.

“And since I-ve travelled with the Matildas it-s overtaken netball in terms of participation level and that-s just in the past five or so years and that can only be a credit to the growing popularity of football and the more exposure can only help it grow.

“Having a World Cup here wouldn-t be until 2022 and already we-re surpassing the likes of netball and basketball yet we-ve got so much potential for growth.--

But Shipard said the benefits of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on home soil would go far beyond women-s football and even football itself.

The well-travelled 23-year-old said the tournament would bring out the best in us Australians, much like the Sydney Olympics.

“Apart from how amazing it would be for football, as a nation it would bring us all together,-- Shipard said.

“The Sydney Olympics are a perfect example with the amount of people that volunteered.

“Sport brings people together and it would only leave a positive effect on the nation.--

Mirroring the Qantas Socceroos rise in recent years Shipard competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics before her and the Qantas Matildas took the world by storm at the 2007 FIFA women-s World Cup followed by this year-s Asian Cup victory in China.

Shipard said FFA was trying to align the Qantas Matildas with the Qantas Socceroos, so playing a World Cup at home would be a massive shot in the arm for the women-s team too.

“It would be such a boost for the Matildas and FFA is trying to align us to them as close as possible,-- she said.

“Whenever the Socceroos play off the back of their fixtures it only creates more attention for us as well.

“When speaking to people, if they are unsure of the Matildas it-s always been a case of saying ‘well you know the Socceroos, we-re the women-s version- so you-re always incorporating the Socceroos into your story.

“So it-s great to align ourselves with them and it always enhances the story when we rub shoulders with them.--

Shipard is sharpening her teeth with Canberra United in the Westfield W-League in preparation for next year-s FIFA women-s World Cup in Germany (the draw takes place November 29 in Frankfurt).

She said a recent chance to train with the Qantas Socceroos was an experience her and her Qantas Matildas teammates would never forget.

“We trained with them just before we left for the Asian Cup and kicking balls with players of that calibre was pretty special,-- said Shipard.

“Vince Grella gave us all a few tips, but it wasn-t a matter of being verbal just the way he trained was incredible and Jason Culina, he was ridiculous _ the tempo and their intensity.--