Growing the participation rate of football is set to be one of the priorities for Sarah Walsh as she takes on her new position within FFA.
"Participation is the future of our game," said Walsh.
"I am quite focused on making sure that when a young boy and girl turn up to a club that football is their first choice," she said.
In November, an AusPlay Survey showed more than 1.1 million adults and children play football, making it the most participated sport in Australia and within this 1.1 million, 402,000 are female participants, up by nearly 10 percent from a year ago.
However, football isn't the leading team sport for young girls in Australia. Netball comes in number one for girls 9-11 with 23.9 percent of girls surveyed playing the sport outside of school times.
So the growth of participation for girls in the 4-11 age group has become of much interest.
First up for Walsh is the two-day ALDI MiniRoos Forum which will see participation staff from each member federations along with W-League and A-league clubs working together to grow female participation.
"What we are trying to do is ensure we are in the best position to grow girls football, with the focus being towards, over time, getting to 50/50 at grassroots," Head of Women's, Football Development, and Community Football Emma Highwood said.
"We want to connect with girls first. We want to make sure they have a really good experience in our sport and that starts with 4-11 so that is why we are prioritising girls participation from there obviously we have to make sure we support them in the right way," she said.
The forum will look at the pathway for young girls, whether that is signing up to a six-week program or a team, and there will also have an external provided coming in to talk about the challenges girls and women playing football face.
"They will also be going through gender equality training to unpack what is happening with gender stereotypes, unconscious bias, all these things are happening," Walsh said.