While many will rightly continue to argue the lack of equality for female sportswomen in Australia and across the globe, there is progress being made and it isn’t slowing down any time soon.

The Matildas were last year voted our most loved sports team. The likes of Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso are now household names. 

The team can rely on a Kerr backflip to get on the highlights reel, while Raso’s recent move to English club Everton has gained plenty of headlines for football merit alone. 

Youman, who is a co-founder and director of One Community, a leading organisation in the disability sector, was thrilled that female athletes can now let their on-field talent do the talking.

“It's great to see the girls being recognised for their accomplishments rather than the way they look,” she said. “People are taking notice for the right reasons.”

Fast forward 20 years and times have certainly changed.

The Matildas will be in China early next month for the Olympic qualifiers, and while it will be tough they have an excellent chance of making it to Tokyo 2020.

There is no doubt if they do get there, they will be one of the most followed Australian athletes at the games.

McGovern was keen for the FFA and W-League clubs to connect with young girls and boys at the grassroots level. She urged the games administrators to ensure high profile players attract new fans by making themselves visible.

“Getting our elite players out in the schools on a Development program, where they can be up and personal with young girls that may not have known about football, or girls that play at that level would be good," she said.

“That’s where I started promoting women’s football, with NNSW, in the schools, playing with the kids, giving away free tickets and posters, signing autographs, showing the boys that girls play too.”

Youman, who was capped 24 times for Australia between 1996 and 2001 in an international career that came after she got married and had three kids, believes the Matildas can do well in Tokyo.

“I think so as long as they improve along the way, they are a medal chance,” she said.

Before the Olympics though, the bulk of the current Matildas squad will ply their trade in the W-League. 

Crowds are only averaging 1,500 at the moment, which has been disappointing considering the extra exposure female football in Australia has received in recent years.

Youman encouraged fans of the Matildas to go out and support the ladies in their ‘bread and butter’ livelihood.

“The game is growing and it's exciting so get on board and grow with it."