Sydney FC coach, Ante Juric says the W-League is not respected and Australia’s elite female footballers deserve better.
Juric guided the Sky Blues to second spot in the W-League this season and will face Newcastle Jets in Saturday’s semi-final for a spot in the following week’s Grand Final.
Juric has a long history with the women’s game in Australia, starting as an assistant during the first two W-League seasons of 2008 and 2009 under current Matildas coach Alen Stajcic.
Before joining the Sky Blues this season, Juric was an assistant Matildas coach, as well as head coach of the U-17 and U-19 Australian women’s national youth teams.
Juric told FourFourTwo that while the W-League has improved he clearly feels the players are justified in demanding even better pay and conditions.
“The girls deserve more because they put in the same effort as any other elite athletes,” he said.
Under the new pay deal for this season, players in the W-League get a minimum payment of $10,000 but Juric believes that is not enough.
“They deserve more money, they are on the minimum, but they train like crazy,” he said. “You can do something if you push more, if you put a little bit more money into it.
“Then you get a bit more respect for the league. Right now I don’t think we have respect for the league.”
Juric said the league is still not getting enough coverage in the mainstream media.
“I look at the Daily Telegraph on Sunday and Monday and there aren’t any W-League results there,” he said.
“There is rarely anything on Fox if it’s not a Fox game. We shouldn’t settle for just a little bit.
“FFA needs to do more in my book because the market is there for women’s sports and we need to push forward.”