As the Socceroos bowed out of the World Cup, it brought up the important discussion of youth development in Australia.
While I've probably covered a number of issues in the last thousand words or so, there is one last thing I do want to point out, the limiting structure on players.
I don't mean limiting in terms of what they are learning, although that certainly needs to be reviewed on a regular basis, but limiting players from playing or engaging in sports outside of football. I remember clearly hearing a coach telling players not to play futsal because they believed the skills from that game would harm their development in the outdoor game.
Let them enjoy anything that will keep them developing their skills and confidence.
I know there are more issues than this and probably more that are regionally specific or even club specific.
But what are the solutions to these issues? More funding, more women in decision-making positions, more consultations with clubs, greater communication and common structures between State Federations, more coaching development, etc.
There isn't just one solution but could you imagine if women's football got the same kind of attention in the critical areas as the men receive or even just a little bit more than they do now?
Not just by FFA but State Federations, clubs, and sponsors.
The same mistakes that were made after the Socceroos "Golden Generation" need to be avoided at all costs.
If we want to maintain our status as one of the best nations in women's football after the current “crop” then changes must be made now.