At FC Strathfield in Western Sydney, football is played on two artificial turf pitches. by women. throughout the day. Minis in the morning, then youth teams and over 35s in the evening. It happens every weekend.
Women’s football is huge in Australia
Women’s football is huge in Australia. More than 300,000 women players are active in clubs. The trend is increasing rapidly. No sport is more popular among girls, young women – and mothers.
“When I ask girls between the ages of eight and 14: ‘What do you like about football?’, they tell me: ‘It’s too hard’ or ‘I want to be as good as my brothers’. But my favorite answer is: Games are not canceled if it’s raining and dirty. “
Other games are very popular
But football in Australia has an image problem. Rugby, cricket and Australian rules football have bigger audiences, more respect and more tradition. When it comes to professionalism, media interest, youth employment and sponsorship money, football is left behind.
“I was very happy when we won the World Cup because for us football culture is still in its infancy. We girls have been playing like boys for a long time. But to see the best women’s teams in the world in Australia will inspire us to start even more.
“Matildas” – successful, but ignored
Internationally, Australian women’s football can compete with the world’s best. An overnight success. It has a name: “Matildas.” Australia Women’s National Team. Over the years they have been more or less ignored by sponsors, media and sports fans alike. They were laughed at and miserably paid.
Women are better than men
Coach Chris Fogarty is Head of Women’s Football at FC Burwood, a district club in Sydney. He is not surprised that his players want to be like the “Matildas”.
As a coach, I no longer say: ‘You have to play like Messi’, but rather: ‘Play like Ellie Carpenter or Sam Kerr’. They are all strong women. The ‘Matildas’ are very important in Australian women’s football. Their success makes them great role models for our youth.
Dalia Younes is part of the next generation of Matildas. The 15-year-old from Sydney plays for the Australian Women’s U16 team. Defensive midfield. At the club he trains four times a week with boys his own age, plus one game.
But Talia knew: if she wanted to make money later with football, she would have to leave Australia. far away. Better for Europe.
The best players play in Europe
In Australia, female footballers struggle for relevance. The best players play abroad. Local Bundesliga games don’t draw more than a few hundred fans, and matches aren’t even televised.
The World Cup is a big opportunity
Now the World Cup football game in our country should be brought out from the amateur side. Equality is talked about. Equal pay for Australian men’s and women’s federal leagues, television rights and a 50 per cent ratio of women in officials. “A great opportunity for Australian women’s football,” coach Chris Fogarty said.
I don’t think Australia knew how big the World Cup would be and how impactful it would be. Usually a game for women. This match will be great and will change football in Australia forever.
Football is ready for a summer fairytale
Public viewing everywhere and pubs open all day: just like the 2000 Olympics, Australians will turn the World Cup into a sporting festival.
Either way, the stadiums are packed. More than one million tickets have already been sold. An achievement. Perhaps the World Cup in our country will wake up women’s football from its slumber.
Because: Although it’s late autumn now, sports-mad Australia is gearing up for a football summer fairytale.
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