The Wollongong Wolves are determined to be the pacesetters in women's football in Australia as they bid for an A-League license.
The NPL club, which is based on the South Coast of NSW, has developed a partnership with the Illawarra Stingrays to help grow women's football in the region.
The Wolves have previously played in the top tier of the competition in Australia during the NSL days but the region has never seen women's football in the national spotlight despite the talent which has come from there.
This has meant players including Illawarra Stingrays defenders Talitha Kramer and Katelyn Leadbeatter and current Matildas Caitlin Cooper, Michelle Heyman, Caitlin Foord have had to move to Sydney or Canberra to play professional football.
"Our whole strategy is revolving around getting national representation for the men and for the women," Wollongong Wolves CEO Chris Papakosmas said.
"We have complete confidence in the submissions we've put together and we have complete faith in what we are doing is going to expand the national competition for men and women.
"We are certain many of the initiatives we are going to roll out will compliment the existing clubs in both the A-League and W-League and having Illawarra and South Coast representation in the A-League and W-League won't just help our region but will help both the leagues to grow, build a bigger fan base, attraction and popularity right across the sporting market," he said.
There are 40,000 registered players across the South Coast region but with no national league club in either W-League or A-League to reach.
"We've got more than enough players to sustain a W-League team and we arguably have the strongest football nursery across Australia in the Illawarra and South Coast," Papakosmas said.
The Wolves have set their home ground to be WIN Stadium which is already purpose-built with facilities to support for both A-League and W-League doubleheaders and a matchday would be a fan affair.
"It will be completely integrated matchday experience," Papakosmas said.
The Wolves are heavily involved in the local community, so if successful in attaining a license, they want to continue helping those in the community from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The club want to be able to create a pathway for Indigenous children but also want to give girls in the region the opportunity to have a pathway to professional football so they won't have to leave their community, family, and friends.
"There is no reason for these girls to go to Canberra, no reason for them to go to Western Sydney, there is no reason for them to go anywhere else except right here in their backyard," Papakosmas said.
"The only reason they are going anywhere is they don't have that opportunity.
"We intend to make that opportunity available to all them across our region," he said.