The new Matildas pay deal is a trailblazer for all women's sport – and puts football in pole position for young girls choosing their future, says Elise Kellond-Knight.
The Brisbane Roar and Matildas veteran was delighted to be part of the panel announcing the new revenue share and pay parity with the Socceroos at the FFA HQ today.
And she says it is the icing on the cake for football's advantages over other sports in Australia.
As well as offering overseas adventures – unlike AFLW – it now meant women could actually dedicate themselves to the sport without sacrificing the rest of their lives.
"We've got to be ahead of the game," said Kellond-Knight, 29. "If we fall behind, if we take a backward step, other sports are going to take that first step before we do.
"I think it's really proactive of the federation to do this today. You have a number of other sports which have reached equality so for us to fall behind would be quite detrimental.
"Fortunately for us, we haven't – we're taking a massive step forward."
K-K admitted the change had come too late to make a massive impact on her career – and said she hadn't been able to wholly commit to the sport when she was younger because of the pay.
As a result, she may not have developed to be the best possible player she could have been.
"I couldn't – it wasn't a financially viable career," she said. "I studied - I spent as lot of time educating myself, preparing to work away from football.
"I spent a lot of time at university doing a bachelor of pharmaceutical science which prevented me from playing overseas. I had a lot of barriers in regards to that.
"Without a supportive family when I was in my early 20s, there was no way I could financially play for the Matildas. It just wasn't viable.
"I think we could have potentially missed out on other players that stepped away from the game because they were not in the position where they had the support from their family and people around them to allow them to play at that level.
"We've taken away that barrier today. Now it's a career path for the girls to walk into. It's so exciting"
However there is still plenty of work yet to be done for the players and PFA, they say.
Deputy CEO Kate Gill admitted her next target would be to get the W-League salary cap raised, while Kellond-Knight is still dismayed by women's football conditions in domestic leagues overseas.
"It needs to grow so much – in every single way possible," said K-K. "There's not really an elite league. You look at America, there's salary caps which prevents players from earning decent wages.
"The facilities over there are not what you would expect of a professional club - some clubs are, some clubs are not. You've got leagues in Europe which are struggling to pay players a decent wage.
"The amount of world class players there are at the moment simply can't fit into the handful of clubs that have resources. It just hasn't grown enough.
"In the next decade I would love to see that happen."
She added: "You've started to see some of the English teams combined with the men.
"So you've seen Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal jump on board, Man United have invested heavily in their female team.
"You've got the Bundesliga doing quite well where Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich have what you would consider professional teams. France really only has Lyon and PSG. Montpelier is okay but struggles with the facilities.
"But it's just not enough. When you consider the entire world and you only name this many clubs, it's difficult.
She said the W-League was still in its growing phase too, but better than a lot of other countries around the world.
"The facilities at clubs have minimum standards now," she added. "You go overseas and some of these medical facilities are forgotten about.
"You don't get the best medical care. You can end up in really difficult situations with injuries where you can't play and it turns into a bit of a cycle where you can't get a club because you're injured.
"So I think the W-League are doing great things in terms of supporting the players. Our minimum pay is probably up there with one of the world's best I would say.
"You look at NWSL minimum pay in proportion to how long their league is? Ours is better... A lot of the leagues in Europe don't even have a minimum wage. Players come in as an 18 year old and get paid nothing.
"There is still a long way to go."