The 2017/18 W-League season will commence with 9 teams with Football Federation Australia confirming that the Central Coast Mariners’ application has been delayed.
FFA’s correspondence stated that its position in relation to a 10th club will be revisited in 12 months. The confirmation also outlined several issues to be resolved including a requirement for adequate change room facilities at Central Coast Stadium for A-League / W-League double headers.
The Mariners in response have made it clear that they are ready willing and able to field a W-League team with the Club Statement emphasising they have:
- undertaken 2 years of strategic planning and committed resources “to make sure our W-League side is successful right from the start”
- the financial capacity to match the current club resourcing of W-League teams
- securing long term sponsors to ensure the viability of a W-League team
- developed and implemented player pathways from grassroots to the W-League
“Our commitment to women’s football is concrete and our aspirations lay in giving local girls and young women a chance to play for the Mariners,” said the club statement.
Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp re-affirmed the former W-League club’s commitment to return to the league.
“Whilst we are extremely disappointed by the decision to delay the introduction of a Mariners W-League team for the 2017/18 season, we are determined to push forward and continue with our plans to join the W-League and play our part in the growth of women’s football.”
“We will not give up on this and will continue to work closely with every player, coach, administrator, stakeholder and potential sponsors who have helped us over the last two years with the aim of creating a W-League team that we can be proud of.”
“We will get there and won’t stop until we are there. Our licence references that we can have a W-League side and we intend to activate that right.”