The football community is still reeling from last night’s announcement.
Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football won the rights to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in what is a amazing feat for football in both countries
Former Young Matildas Aimee Medwin and Jessie Williams were on hand at Football Tasmania’s headquarters, KGV to discuss the WC and what could be next for Women’s football.
“This is something we have needed for such a long time” Medwin said. “I think for Australia as a country and our women’s football in general we really deserve this opportunity”
Australia and NZ hosting the World Cup is significant for so many reasons but more importantly female sport is now highlighted even further.
“Women’s football has grown so much in the last five years and the Westfield Matildas are the team we have to thank for that”
“Through social media and their performances, they have really become this great football powerhouse globally and it’s really great that it’s going to be hosted here. There is going to be a lot of ramifications throughout the whole country for all women’s football.”
Winning this bid is sure to inspire a lot of young footballers and Medwin believes that a World Cup is anything that anyone would want to watch, whether your a fan of the sport or not.
“It’s gonna bring a lot of families and young kids into the sport of football and I think we are going to see a lot of young girls and boys signing up for football in Australia.”
There is real potential that there could be WC games played in Tasmania, not just in Launceston but Hobart too.
“To think we could have a team like France or Germany come down to Hobart or potentially play up in Launceston is just such a big thing for us as a state.”
“I think it is a really good opportunity and it’s really motivating for everyone here to go out and watch these live games”
Medwin admitted she didn’t stay up to watch the announcement but she knew we would get the bid acceptance.
“I was always really hopeful and I think from watching the Matildas over the last three years they have grown so much. It is their time to have a WC and I think it is going to be a really special experience for everyone”.
Having a Westfield W-League team for Tasmania would be huge for helping our home grown stars push for selection.
“I think this is something we really want to push for in the future. We have the facilities available for it but it’s making sure we keep the quality high through like the NPLW series up until the W-League.”
“Making sure everyone gets equal pay to keep people motivated and to want to travel down here to play for us.”
“Something we could definitely strive for in the future”
Unfortunately getting a team in a national competition is not a easy thing to do and a lot of it comes down to funding and participation numbers
“There isn’t the numbers. There isn’t the quality and there isn’t the funding unfortunately. I think funding is a really big problem. A lot of people overlook it but in saying that a W-League team is easier to fund than a Hyundai A-League team.”
“I know there has been a lot of talk of a A-League team but I think a W-League team should come before A-League”.
Medwin hopes that seeing a W-League team isn’t too far off in the future.
“I really hope we see one in the next 5 years and if so I would love to come home and play in my home state”
“It would be really special for me and a lot of people if we had a W-League team”
Medwin is unsure of her future plans herself with the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions still in place. In 2018 she was at NPLW club South Melbourne FC.
2019 saw Medwin play College Football in the United States.with Ole Miss (Oxford, Mississippi) and recently with Long Beach State.
“At the moment I am waiting to see how things play out”.
“There is a good possibility I could be playing in Australia for the remainder of the year. Potentially in Melbourne”.
Williams agreed with Medwin that she had a good feeling we would get the hosting rights as well.
“I found out this morning but it was pretty exciting and seeing all the assessments and ratings that AUS and NZ had I knew we were a pretty good chance” Williams said.
Williams was immediately on Facebook this morning and seeing all the memories coming back was really special.
“My whole newsfeed was full of old team mates and people i know through football, it’s still 3 years away but having that level of excitement is great”
Wiliams is excited at the prospect of potentially having games in Tasmania
“It’s pretty amazing to think we could have some games in not just AUS but in Tasmania as well. I’m really looking forward to going up and watching a game.”
Williams shared the opinion of Medwin and believes having the WC in AUS can really boost the profile of women’s football.
“I just think when I was young i grew up watching mens sport with my Dad but i still wanted to play, it’s been 9 years since i’ve played with the national team and there really wasn’t much access at that point and to think it’s more achievable now especially Tassie girls is really special.
“Aimee is probably one of our best chances to play at that high level, age is in her side and i’d really like to see how she goes, but there is plenty good young girls coming through, it’s just a matter of where we can get Tasmanians into that level. Without a W-League side it’s really hard.”
Williams thought that this will also really encourage further interest for the younger generation to play football.
“Just playing at grassroots level and the more participants we get the further the quality will be for them to develop.”
I would love to see A Tasmanian W-League side. This is the perfect time to utilise a real approach to the hosting news. We have a World Cup in our own backyard. Have the potential to be able to host games. But we need to get a serious bid going for a W-League side as it could really benefit players like Medwin and Williams.
Time will tell but there is no better time to proceed with plans.
Let the voice be heard and let’s get something really up and running here!