Australian women's soccer risks slipping behind other nations without much-needed improvement in the W-League, Matildas coach Ante Milicic says.
European countries, in particular, are funnelling big money into women's leagues and Milicic says it's imperative Australia's domestic competition keeps pace.
"I have been in Europe for the last couple of years and ... I have seen what they have invested," Milicic told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.
"And now, that is the challenge for us.
"With the (Australian pay) agreement that has been put in place, we know now that it's a serious sport.
"But now it's for us to build on that W-League. We need more games, we need more coaches available, we need better facilities.
"So we need to expand on that if we want to continue because, to be perfectly honest, particularly Europe is really, really moving forward at a quick rate.
"And if we don't address these (issues), I think it's going to be difficult in the years to come."
The Matildas downed Chile on Saturday in Parramatta before 20,029 spectators - a record for a women's international in Australia. The second and final game in the series will be held in Adelaide on Tuesday night.
England at the weekend set its own crowd record for a women's home international when 77,768 people attended a friendly against Germany.
Australia's W-League kicks off this Thursday with the nine teams playing 14 rounds before finals.
Milicic said it was vital the domestic league improved - a lesson borne out at the World Cup in June and July this year, when the Matildas exited at the round of 16 stage.
"When you look at the World Cup ... the girls that aren't in a professional environment or aren't playing where they are getting games at a high level of intensity, it jumps too big," he said.
"So we have to find ways together if we're going to narrow the gap.
"That is the challenge for us and that is where we have to get to.
"And if we qualify for the (2020 Tokyo) Olympics, that is what is waiting for us in an August month. So we need to really have a focus on that."