The Central Coast Mariners can today advise that Football Federation Australia have formally responded to the club’s submission to be re-introduced to the Westfield W-League.

Last month the Hyundai A-League Club ownership group, The Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA), made a submission to Football Federation Australia (FFA) in support of the Central Coast Mariners re-introduction to the 2018/19 Westfield W-League (WWL) season.

APFCA have since received a formal response from Football Federation Australia which outlines the governing body’s immediate areas for investment regarding the WWL. The letter implies that these priorities do NOT include the expansion of the competition to 10 teams.

In Football Federation Australia’s letter to APFCA the following two initiatives have been identified as their most immediate priorities for to the WWL: 

  1. Broadcast and live streaming of all WWL matches and
  2. Delivering a full home and away schedule

Whilst Central Coast Mariners and APFCA support further FFA investment in the WWL and W-League clubs, both organisations believe the Mariners immediate inclusion in the WWL should be considered as a separate topic that will grow the women’s game and talent pool immediately rather than an opportunity that needs to wait in line.

The Central Coast Mariners strongly believe that the addition of a Mariners W-League team would positively contribute to Australian female football development by providing: 

  1. Elimination of the competition’s ‘bye round’
  2. Increased professional opportunities for elite female footballers
  3. Increased professional playing opportunities for young Matildas (who currently struggle for game time with the existing nine WWL clubs)
  4. Expansion of WWL without overlapping with overseas female football leagues (such as the NWSL)
  5. Improve Australia’s chances of hosting and winning the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup by widening the country’s talent pool
  6. Only the second complete professional female football development pathway in the country. The Mariners are one of only two professional football clubs in Australia to offer a women’s pathway, starting from the U10 SAP to first grade NPL. A Mariners W-League team completes the football landscape for boys and girls on the Central Coast
  7. Ability to increase attendances at Central Coast Stadium through A-League/W-League double headers (significant government investment has gone towards constructing additional change rooms to facilitate this in response to FFA’s feedback last year about this being a necessity for Mariners’ future W-League inclusion)
  8. The Central Coast is the only region with no competing national sports – with no NRL, AFL, Netball or BBL in the area, the Central Coast could be the true “heartland of football” 
  9. Increased community engagement by providing more role models for young girls and harness the committed corporate support ready to invest.