Thursday, July 29, 2010

Central Coast Mariners out of W-League

So news today is that the 2010/11 season of the W-League will start on November 5 and will another 10-round competition, but without the Central Coast Mariners.

First of all, it's hardly a surprise, given that Football NSW and NSWIS were supporting two teams (Sydney FC and the Mariners) and the Mariners girls were actually based in Sydney, not at all near Gosford like their men's counterpart. So now there will be two NSW teams, Sydney FC and Newcastle (who are backed by Northern NSW football, so a different entity to Football NSW), but I think will work better for women's football overall in NSW. One team per local federation makes sense to me.

Secondly, it may be one less team, but in a league where the difference between the top and bottom teams in the first two years was quite obvious, is that a bad thing? Instead heading into the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, it will put more pressure on every single player who wants to play W-League this year. There is about 20 less places than last year, it's going to be more competitive just to get into a W-League side. Which is another positive.

So is there any negatives out of this? Well yes, less girls will get a spot on a W-League roster this season, but in addition to my second point, coming out of an Australian Sports Commission conference on women in sport and media coverage yesterday (more on this later), I don't think that's such a bad thing either. The consensus was there, yes, women in sport should have more coverage in mainstream media, but the product has to be great first. One less team will make a more even field, a more competitive league. And I can't see a problem with that. In just the third season, I think it makes a lot more sense to cut back and make the league solid and viable before going forward.

The only other observation I have is that, well, this is going to make Sydney FC pretty unstoppable if they claim Mariners golden boot winner Michelle Heyman. Can't wait for November 5 to roll around.

1 comment:

  1. One thing that needs to be realised is that the point of having a national competition is so talented women footballers from around the country get to play on the big stage for their capital city. Now that CCM have folded, those girls, whose team finished in the semi-finals last season, will end up spreading their services around Australia, lessening the nation-wide talent pool. The fact is that NSW has more women footballers registered than any other state, & therefore a bigger pool of talented ones. We need a 2nd team here in Sydney. We effectively had two sides last season & look where they finished.

    As for your point about Michelle Heyman going to Sydney, do you really think she will get in the side ahead of Walsh, Khamis, Simon?? Not a chance. Therefore she will be bench-warming all season, which should do wonders for her World Cup chances.

    Sydney just won the U17's National Championship, & there is probably 5 or 6 of those girls alone good enough to play W-League, so where do they go? Should we be sending them to Adelaide to take spots off talented young locals? Sure CCM was effectively a 2nd Sydney side, but results showed that Sydney have enough depth to field two sides. To say that it puts more pressure on the girls, & makes them more competitive is really not how it will turn out in reality. More girls will just stop playing, period. These girls put everything into football, often putting their schooling & social lives on the side so they are able to have a real crack at making it in football. Now, & I 100% guarentee this, girls will quit. We will lose those talented youngsters. We will lose the veterans, who we need to guide the youngsters. A team as packed with stars as Sydney FC is has no room for additions. So with no light at the end of the tunnel for these youngsters, they will plain and simply stop playing.

    As for the FFA, the Matildas just won our only piece of international footballing silverware. How can they justify not helping out, when the money needed would be alot less than it would cost to host an FFA Gala Night. I honestly am dumfounded by the decision not to support the growth of Women's football, instead we are lessening the opportunity & lessening our chances on the main stage going into the future.