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New program to help develop up and coming Matildas

New program to help develop up and coming Matildas
May 14, 2018

A new program has been launched to help develop the next generation of Australia’s elite female footballers.

The collaborative Future Matildas initiative, which started with sessions in mid-March, has been established to provide a tailored training environment for some of Australia’s most talented female footballers aged between 15 and 20 years.

The program enables players to train and play regularly with other high-level players and access specialised coaching and support from a range of staff, many of whom are also involved with Australia’s senior women’s national side.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has teamed up with the NSW Government, New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS), and Football NSW to establish the Future Matildas program, which seeks to bridge the gap between the current and future generations of Westfield Matildas.

The program has also received funding from the Australian Sports Commission.

In addition to supporting the advancement of the next generation of elite female footballers, the Future Matildas program has capacity to provide an environment where current Westfield Matildas can train outside of the Westfield W-League season should they not link with professional clubs overseas.

The program will run between the conclusion and start of each Westfield W-League season, initially through to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic, who is also the Future Matildas Program Advisor, has been integral to the establishment of the program.

Stajcic said that he believes the program will play a key role in helping to uncover and refine Westfield Matildas stars of the future, explaining “there is a significant daily training environment gap for young Australian female players, particularly during autumn and winter.

“The Future Matildas program will help to fill this void, boosting talented players’ exposure to elite training and matches.”

“The Future Matildas program will be based out of Valentine Sports Park in Sydney, and ensure that our best young players are either training or playing six days a week.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work with the NSW Government, NSWIS and Football NSW to establish this program, which will provide a significant boost to our goal of becoming a top three ranked nation in world football.”

In addition to Stajcic’s role as Future Matildas Program Advisor, current Westfield Matildas Assistant Coach, Gary van Egmond, has taken on the role of Head Coach of the program.

Van Egmond is being assisted by former Westfield Matilda Leah Blayney (Assistant Coach/Program Manager) and Jackson Kupke (Player Welfare Manager). Tony Wignell - who leads the Westfield Matildas’ sports science department - is overseeing the strength and conditioning side of the program with support from Drezina Bogovac, while NSWIS is represented by Program Manager, Kristen Barnes.

NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government, through NSWIS, was proud to contribute $70,000 per year to support the program.

Minister Ayres advised “I have been delighted to witness the growth of women’s football in New South Wales over the past few years - spearheaded by the success of the Matildas on an international stage including winning the 2017 Tournament of Nations and runners up at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

“There is every likelihood ‘Future Matildas’ nurtured through this program will compete on the world stage for Australia in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which Australia hopes to host.”

The Future Matildas program will help Australia build towards significant international tournaments including the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, as well as the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Future Matildas is a nationwide program but will be based in Sydney so those identified outside of NSW will come to Sydney and be part of a homestay program.

Images (from top): The NSW Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres; FFA Chief Executive, David Gallop; Westfield Matildas Head Coach, Alen Stajcic; FFA Head of National Performance, Luke Casserly; Football NSW Chief Executive Stuart Hodge and NSWIS Chief Executive Kevin Thompson joined elite Australian female footballers Chloe Logarzo, Princess Ibini, Taylor Ray, Cortnee Vine, and MelindaJ Barbieri at today's Future Matildas launch at Valentine Sports Park; Valentine Sports Park and the Matildas on the cover of the May/June 2015 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.

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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

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