Head of National Performance Luke Casserly yesterday re-iterated the FFA's commitment to the Matildas, and women's football generally, on The World Game.


FFA responds to claims they don’t actually care about women’s ...

Football Federation Australia's head of national performance, Luke Casserly, joined Lucy Zelic on SBS The World Game to answer some tough questions about player conditions, pay and support of the women's game.It's long but it's well worth the watch.Here's what Lucy said after the interview: http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/zela/article/2016/04/12/ffa-responds-claims-they-dont-actually-care-about-womens-football

Posted by SBS Zela: Women in Sport on Monday, April 11, 2016

In a wide ranging interview, Casserly joined the panel to discuss the Matildas preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics, a maternity related issues, as well as how women's football is positioned within the federation.

"It was interesting to read that," said Casserly about the reports of a delay to the Matildas preparations.

"[It is] not quite factual. We've sat down with the technical and sports science staff around our preparations for Rio."

"I think the tournament you have just showed some highlights of [the AFCWOQ] and the World Cup in Canada in 2015 were great examples of where we focused our resources and our planning on a really solid virtual full time lead up into the tournament."

Prospective Rio bound Matildas are currently spread across the world with several in the NWSL, which commences this week, as well as Europe, Asia and home in Australia.

The team is not due to reconvene until early May with a home camp either at the AIS in Canberra or Valentine Sports Park in Sydney.

It is anticipated that camps and a set of internationals in the June FIFA window – the final one prior to the Olympics – will be the Matildas preparation for Brazil.

"We will start again from May and have a good two and half three month preparation to Rio that served us well in the last two tournaments and I think that would do us again well for Rio," Casserly continued.

"That's worked really, really well for us.  With the amount of activity the team had from October until the beginning of March, we all felt it was best for the players, the staff – a lot of whom are part time staff – take a bit of time off, freshen up and have breather"

As Head of National Performance, Casserly's position includes the oversight of resources to all the national teams, including the Matildas.

"I guess some of the messaging is a little bit odd from my perspective," said Casserly in relation to the questioning of resources for the Matildas.

"We have resourced the team, particularly around the Olympic Qualifiers for Rio, to the same standards and levels that the Socceroos are resourced."

These included video analysis, opposition analysis, sports science and chef for the Olympic Qualifiers with the Matildas repaying the faith with qualification for the Olympics for the first time through Asia.

"I think this is just such an exciting time for the Matildas. They [the Matildas] are integral part of everything we do about football."

As well as the Matildas, Casserly asserted the FFA's commitment to the women's game as a whole with the federation spending $4 million on women's programs in the last financial year.

The Road to Rio continues this week for the Matildas with the Olympic draw due on Thursday.  Coach Alen Stajcic will attend the proceedings at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janiero.  Seeded fourth in the tournament, the Matildas have been placed in Pot 2, alongside France and Sweden and almost seem certain to be in the same group as world no. 2 Germany.

Casserly is confident that the Matildas will have strong enough groundwork in the coming months to push for a medal at the Olympics.

"We'll have a very thorough preparation going into Rio and we believe that this team has actually got a chance to medal which will be something pretty special."