New Zealand international Sarah Gregorius has staked a claim for a Wellington Phoenix team in the W-League, with New Zealand Football appearing the major obstacle.
Gregorius told newsroom.co.nz that the player pathways that a semi-professional W-League club in New Zealand would offer to female footballers across the ditch would have a huge impact on football in the country.
Currently, female sportspeople in New Zealand have professional or semi-professional team avenues in cricket, netball and different forms of rugby. But the only women's league, the National Women's League, is entirely amateur.
“I think some form of professional pathway, even if it’s just for a short window each year, is massive,” the Ferns forward said.
“A team in the W-League, in my opinion, is critical.
“We could really use it right about now. And if it gets put in in the next year or two, it’ll make a huge difference in 2023 and 2027 [the next two World Cups]."
Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome echoed the sentiment, admitting Wellington didn't seem a fully-fledged outfit without a women's division.
“As a club we don’t feel like a full club unless we have a female side of our business,”