Former Matilda Angela Iannotta believes Australia needs to follow in Europe’s footsteps and have a full-time professional league.
Iannotta, who famously scored Australia’s first-ever goal at a World Cup in 1995, also encouraged the games governing body to move the league to winter.
“I think that the W-League, needs a proper professional league,” says Iannotta. “A winter season like they have in Europe will be ideal. The season starts in September and finishes at the end of April, a proper season must go for at least 7-8 months.”
Iannotta played 33 times for Australia and played at the domestic level in Australia, Japan and Italy. She won a Scudetto in Italy in 1994/95 with AFC Agliana.
She warned FFA they risk losing the nations best footballers if the league doesn’t become full time.
“Players need to play every Sunday, that's where your playing fitness comes from,” says Iannotta. “With no professional league, we will lose players to foreign leagues.
“It would be great to play in your own country and live from just playing football.”
The cost of running a W-League club is estimated to be around $700-800,000.
With Foxtel looking at leaving their $57M per year contract, revenue is running dry for FFA and its clubs, however, the women’s game is potentially a solid investment for the games governing body.
With winter in Australia having minimal women’s sport at the elite level, it's a chance for football to really tap into an ever-growing market segment that yearns for women’s sport.
Iannotta also had her fingers crossed that Australia wins the hosting rights to the 2023 World Cup, which is due to be announced on 25 June.
“Hopefully we win the selection...I'm sure we will. Australia and New Zealand have the best facilities to be the hosting country and it will be great for the development of women’s football in Austraĺia.”