After a recent PFA report highlighted a lack of integration between A-League and W-League teams at clubs, Canberra and Capital Region A-League Bid has spoken to The Women's Game about their plans for men's and women's football.
The bid is different from most others as the region already have a well-established and championship-winning national league side with Canberra United.
The club was founded in 2008 and is under what you could call, the ownership of Captial Football. They are unique as it is not or has ever been attached to an A-League team, the only club to be that way.
While the bid is currently separate from Canberra United, down the track the plan is to have everything as one club to represent Canberra and the region, however, Bid team member Russ Gibbs assured that it wasn't about taking the team away from its current ownership.
"It's not taking the W-League team from Capital Football, we are working and engaging with Capital Football at the moment as we are all interested in becoming one club down the track but that comes with lots of different things," Gibbs said.
"Obviously we are very aware of the brand and quality Canberra United and the attachment people have to the club.
"We wouldn't be taking that away, it would be a question of working together. What we are trying to do is basically have a football club which represents our community and have the quality in all our system areas and coaching," he said.
This would mean that both the men and women's players would have access to the same facilities, sponsorship and commercial opportunities of the men's team. The women's team wouldn't just be an addition to the club but part of what they do.
As crazy as it sounds, after 10 seasons of the W-League, the above still isn't the norm across the league. It's actually pretty rare. When the W-League was first established clubs brought on a women's team after having established an A-League side, have rarely invested interest into their women's programs.
"We are lucky because we already have people invested in the Canberra United W-League team and we are coming at it from a different viewpoint. What we are looking to get is having everyone under the one umbrella so we can be a community club for every single person," Gibbs said.
By having a community model it allows everyone to have the chance to have a say in the club. If the name of the bid is different to that of Canberra United, they will come to an arrangement down the track but if they have to run with two different names to preserve the Canberra United W-League name, they will look into that.
"They are a very important part of what we want to do here," Gibbs said.
"Women's and men's football aren't separate, they are part of the same entity," he said.
The Portland Thorns model has been ones fans have brought up on social media to the bid. The Portland Timbers, the MSL team, knew the Thorns weren't a niche talking point but a partner and the bid will be looking down a similar path.
"Everyone is equal, everyone is part of the same club, there's now a throw away there," Gibbs said.
"They are not Portland Thorns women's football, they are just Portland Thorns and that's what we want to get to. We don't want to be Canberra United women's team, we want to be Canberra United.
"We don't differentiate between men's and women's football, we are one football club," he said.