FFA's Starting XI - the 11 former players and coaches tasked with rebuilding the floundering sport in Australia - have been focusing on one thing recently: how the growth of women's football can help spawn a new era for the sport.

Such is the calamity the sport faces, with nearly $50 million in lost revenue and clubs reeling from financial disasters and plummeting fan interest, that the W-League is ostensibly under threat.


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But if the thoughts coming from the top - whether that be FFA or Australia's best women's goalkeeper - are anything to go by, the W-League is thought to be the future.

"I think it's more important now -- more than ever," Williams told ESPN.

"The younger players, we need to have more of them coming through, and I think the W-League is probably the perfect platform for that, to give those younger players a chance to play at a really high quality."

On her decision to leave the W-League, Williams gave the same answer virtually every other departing female footballer (and there has been 36 so far) gave.

"Playing and being based in one place is a big one," she said. "A lot of us have gone back and forth for a number of years. Now we get to be in one place, you get to unpack fully and make a bit of a life for yourself.

"It's a different style of football. We get to not only play with English players but you play with European internationals, and these are the players that make World Cup semifinals, the final eight.

"So you're like, 'OK, this is what it takes to make that next stage, and we haven't done that yet.' So for us it's a learning experience as well, in how these athletes perform and how to fit into a style of play and adapt."


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