Sam Kerr was paid around $400,000 two years ago to be a marquee player for the W-League. The Matildas legend didn’t let FFA down, attracting crowds wherever she went.
The upcoming W-League season could prove to be one of the most transcending seasons ever.
With Australia announced as hosts of the 2023 World Cup, it brings plenty of financial reward into FFA’s coffers. Despite the uncertainty surrounding football due to COVID19, one thing isn’t in doubt, the need to invest in women’s football down under.
The only way to make more money is to then spend it. FFA are apparently considering paying marquee wages for certain world stars as they look to inject fresh life into a competition that will lose a number of high profile Matildas who are heading to Europe.
If FFA want bang for their buck, they need to look beyond the Green & Gold and look for foreign stars who bring quality, style and a touch of panache to the W-League.
1) Denise O’Sullivan
The unique person in this list in that she has played in the W-League before, but only in guest stints for Canberra (2018/19) and Western Sydney (2019/20). We simply didn’t get to see enough of her.
The Irish star was a back to back MVP for North Carolina Courage in back to back NWSL championship winning years.
She is one of the most complete and accomplished footballers in professional football. Her coaches Vera Pauw (Ireland), Paul Riley (North Carolina) and Dean Heffernan (Western Sydney) have all described her as ‘one of the best midfielders in the world’.
Her team-mates routinely describe her as the most important player in their team due to her work ethic and ability to play all over the field.
In fact Western Sydney were heading towards W-League glory last season when her seven game guest stint came to an end, with the Wanderers falling down straight after.
Blessed with movie star looks, a fun personality as well as amazing football talent, O’Sullivan is the perfectly marketable athlete.
She will be hoping to lead Ireland to its first World Cup when the ‘greatest show on earth’ heads down under in 2023, so we may as well get her started now.
Would be worth every penny.
2) Tobin Heath
A dual Olympic champion (2008 and 2012) and a dual World Cup champion (2015 and 2019), Heath is one of the most skilful players in the world.
While she doesn’t have the super status or goal scoring prowess of Megan Rapinoe or Carli Lloyd, the Portland Thorns star sets them up and that is just as important. She is the type of creative player that Australian fans would love to see, having never played in the W-League before.
Off the field she is a family orientated and heading towards a successful career as an entrepreneur when her playing career is done.
A wonderful role model for young women.
3) Marta Vieira da Silva
The Brazilian legend needs no introduction. Currently playing her trade with Orlando Pride, Marta has also played in her native Brasil and Sweden. Adding Australia to her CV might be just what she would want as she heads into the twilight of her career.
The only woman in history to score in five World Cups, she came so close to signing for the Wanderers last year.
2020/21 might be the last chance we get to see her play for a club down under. It might seem unrealistic but Australia is very much like Brazil in terms of lifestyle, a sound pay packet might just be enough to lure the South American super star to our shores.
4) Mallory Pugh
She is only 22 but has already played 63 games for the USA and has a World Cup winners medal to boot.
Touted as a super star of the future, Pugh signed with Sky Blue FC this year after being traded from Washington Spirit for no less than four draft picks.
The speedy forward has superb ball skills and can outrun defenders all day. Stardom awaits the youngster so it may be now or never in trying to get her to Australia.
5) Carli Lloyd
It would take something amazing to get one of the world’s greatest ever footballers to come down under but it is worth a shot. The 38-year-old is no spring chicken but her record speaks for itself.
She has played 294 internationalS for the USA winning two World Cup medals, two Olympic gold medals and a plethora of other trophies.
Amazingly she scored the winning goal in the 96th minute of the 2008 Olympic Final, both goals in the 2012 Olympic Final and a hat-trick in the first 16 minutes of the 2015 World Cup final.
Lloyd has indicated she will retire after Tokyo 2021, so this will be the last chance Australian fans would get to see a woman who will go down in football folklore.
FFA should move heaven and earth to get her here.
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