PFA 2015/16 W-League Injury Report: ‘Minimum Medical Standards a must’

With a 132% increase in the number of games missed due to injury in the 2015/16 season, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) is calling for an introduction of Minimum Medical Standards for the W-League.

The annual report saw that players had missed a cumulative 174 games in Season 8 due to injury with over 40% related to knee injuries.

Season # of Injuries Games missed
Season 8: 2015/16 46 174
Season 7: 2014 29 75
Season 6: 2013/14 154 42
Source; PFA 2015/16 W-League Injuries Report
Source; PFA 2015/16 W-League Injuries Report


The PFA Report is compiled from publicly available data during the regular season including FFA weekly W-League match previews, Official W-League Club match previews/reviews and official media releases.

“The growth of the W-League will be undermined if the competition’s clubs are regularly unable to call upon their most talented players.”

The Newcastle Jets saw a decrease in the incidence of injuries and matches missed while Season 7 premiers Perth Glory saw a sharp incline in both areas.

Club # of Injuries Games missed % of games missed
Adelaide United 4 13 7%
Brisbane Roar 2 13 7%
Canberra United 5 15 9%
Melbourne City 2 19 11%
Melbourne Victory 7 37 22%
Newcastle Jets 3 3 2%
Perth Glory 11 30 17%
Sydney FC 5 23 13%
WS Wanderers 7 21 12%
MATCH ANALYSIS: Victory Take Derby Honours Against City 2-1


Knee injuries remained the key concern and the biggest factor in matches missed with matches missed due to knee injuries (including ACLs) doubling in Season 8 to 71 in comparison to Season 7’s 35 .

Source; PFA 2015/16 W-League Injuries Report
Source; PFA 2015/16 W-League Injuries Report


W-League Minimum Medical Standards

Following the findings of the report, PFA Player Relations Executive Kathryn Gill called for the immediate introduction of W-League Minimum Medical Standards for Season 9.

“The introduction of the A-League Minimum Medical Standards in 2011 has proven effective at combating both the incidence of injury and the number of games missed a result of them,” said Gill.

“It is simply unacceptable that our elite female players have not been afforded the same level of protection.”

The PFA, after consultation with FIFPro Chief Medical Officer Doctor Vincent Gouttebarge, has called for the following standards to be in place for Season 9.

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>> medical testing prior to the commencement of each season;

>> all clubs having certified specialist sports physicians;

>> detailed player medical records being kept by clubs;

>> the right for players to seek a second medical opinion;

>> registered physiotherapists available at each club prior to and after training and matches; and

>> all club trainers holding a Sport Trainer Level 2 from Sports Medicine Australia and / or a tertiary qualification in Sports Conditioning.

“It is critical for the continued growth of the women’s game that these measures are implemented ahead of next season.”

“The evidence from the A-League is clear that on-field performance is strongly related to the efficient management of injuries, and that clubs which do more to assist their players reap the benefit on the field.



Ann is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TWG.
  • Gooner

    The number of injuries Perth Glory had was quite staggering, and was a significant reason for their league position this year. They were unable to field a full strength 11 in any game, and for the last 2 games had none of their Matilda’s available. Rapid turn arounds from away games were also a factor, with a game in Sydney one week and then backing that up with a trip to Brisbane the following week. No other club in the competition has that sort of travel to contend with. This makes recovery and preparations very hard to manage.