Former Matildas captain and pioneer, Alison Forman, believes female football’s most attractive attribute for investors is the passion players have for the game.
The Denmark-based former national team defender remains involved in football, working for the Dana Cup Hjørring, an international youth tournament held in Denmark, featuring over 1,000 youth teams from more than 45 nations over five days (“I have the best job in the world!")
Forman's base in Scandinavia has given her a greater understanding of the rapid growth of women’s football on the world stage.
“The difference for me is that (women) have always struggled, but at the end of the day we still played football because our passion is not for money - that is the difference between the women’s game and the men’s game," Forman told FTBL.
“Investors are actually starting to see the benefits of investing in the women’s game. There are loads of benefits associated with and around women footballers.
“So I believe that there will be more and more major companies investing in the women´s game and you will see 100% passion in women´s football. The women´s game is an investor or a marketing person's dream really - with so much potential.”
Forman is one of Australia's great players.
In an era when the Matildas didn’t play anywhere near as many games as the current side, she was capped 77 times over 13 years, after debuting in 1989, she played until 2002.
She was a star in Denmark, too.
Forman ended up playing 283 games for Fortuna Hjørring from 1992 - 2005, with five Danish Championships in her trophy cabinet. She also has a Silver Medal in the UEFA Women´s Cup Final in 2003, now known as the UEFA Champions League.
The defender also played each game for Australia in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and two World Cups (1995 and the breakthrough 1999 edition).
“I was extremely lucky to be able to combine club football in Denmark with playing for the national team, it wasn't something that everyone did at that time,” she said.
“I look at the game now and say to my partner, I wish I could be playing today,”
“The big events such as the World Cup, the European Championships and the Champions League are at a much higher level today.
“Times have changed for the better, finally. This year’s Women’s World Cup is set to be the biggest ever in terms of exposure, coverage, and quality on the pitch.
“People around women's football are actually starting to treat the game and the players with respect - that is basically all that's needed - respect for the game.
“The club level worldwide is also on the rise with some of the top clubs around the world truly stepping up - Lyon in France, Manchester City in England, Chivas in Mexico and many more.”