Westfield W-League to kick off this weekend
The next frontier in Australian football will be crossed this weekend when the Westfield Women's W-League kicks off. The competition is made up of eight teams, seven of them being associated with the A-League teams based in Australia as well as a new team, Canberra United. Football Federation CEO Ben Buckley is thrilled that the time has finally come for women in Australian football. "This is not only an exciting new era in women's football, but it's also another landmark for women's sport," he said. "The Westfield W-League will help improve the skills and match preparedness of talented women athletes, and give them greater opportunity to play high quality competitive sport to their potential. "A league for women has been overdue but the time is now right thanks to the support of Westfield, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and the Australian Government." With the W-League now joining the A-League and National Youth League, Buckley said Australian football was definitely heading in the same direction as the rest of the footballing world. "We are developing the concept of the 'super club' structure in Australia along the lines of football clubs elsewhere in the world with men's teams, women's teams and youth teams," Buckley added. There are three matches this weekend, beginning with the Saturday afternoon fixture in Perth between the Glory and Sydney FC. Other matches are Melbourne Victory versus Central Coast Mariners, which is a curtain-raiser to the Victory v Sydney FC A-League blockbuster at the Telstra Dome, Queensland Roar versus Adelaide United and Sunday will see the Newcastle Jets take on Canberra United.