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|
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|
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 .
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.
— Marijana Raj?i? | MJ (@rajcic9) April 6, 2016
“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.”
— Amy Harrison (@amy_harrison7) April 6, 2016
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.
>> 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.