Matildas coach Ante Milicic says Australia's domestic women's national league needs further support if the national team is to keep up.
After the opening round of World Cup matches, Matildas coach Ante Milicic has seen enough to know the W-League needs to lift if Australia is to stay competitive on the global level.
European sides have dominated the competition thus far, chalking up wins to suggest that the eventual champion will come from the home continent.
European entries Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, England, Spain, Germany, France and Norway all won their opening matches.
The only Europeans to miss out were Scotland, defeated by rivals England.
And that's come as no surprise to Milicic, who spent his preparation for the World Cup on the continent, and most specifically Italy as he spied on his first-up opponents.
"I've seen it with my own eyes. When I went to Italy and I saw Juventus, Fiorentina, Milan play. I see football," he said.
"You can see the investment they're getting, with the coaching, with the facilities they are getting, with the investment.
"We also had a visit to the Dutch KNVB (national federation) and we look at what their team had to train in every day and have a camp, have a base.
"The investment is there, and in the end sooner or later its got to bear results."
Asked whether the W-League needs to increase standards to keep up, he said "100 per cent".
FFA, aware of the growing gulf between Australian domestic football and European counterparts, are meeting with their American counterparts next month to see whether there are ways they can link up and boost each others' competitions.
Milicic, who has a background in youth men's coaching before joining the Socceroos as an assistant, was one of the few people unsurprised by when Qatar claimed the Asian Cup earlier this year.
"They have invested so much in their junior programme ... it's taken them a long time, but they have built the facilities, the camps, the games, the preparation, (taken) the tours.
"In the end you get the result, the investment you give comes back. At the moment a lot of these European teams are on the way forward."