Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images
Northern NSW Football CEO David Eland has welcomed the announcement by Football Federation Australia (FFA) of a bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, enthusiastic that the Hunter may not only be a likely venue for matches but importantly that local talent could feature.
“We have experienced enormous growth in female football in our Region and Northern NSW Football is recognised as a leader in promoting opportunities for girls and women to participate,” Eland said.
“With numbers still to be finalised through a census later in the year, figures to date show that over 11,000 females are registered and active in winter football, reflecting a 49% increase on 2012 figures of 7,351 players.”
Alongside the dramatic growth in female grassroots participation, the Region is also well represented on the national and international stage, something that Eland sees as a real bonus for the Region if the bid is successful.
“We are extremely proud of the achievements of our local talent at the national and international level, with the likes of Gema Simon, Emily van Egmond and Chloe Logarzo currently in the Matildas’ lineup,” Eland said.
“There is also the likes of Annalee Grove, Tessa Tamplin, Molly Arens and Lucy Kell who were selected in the Under 17 Women’s National Team (Junior Matildas) for the U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers last year.”
“Grove then joined fellow Northern NSW players Hannah Bourke, Ashlee Brodigan, Brooke Miller, Sophie Nenadovic, Hannah Southwell and Clare Wheeler in the Young Matildas (Under 20 Squad) for the AFF Women’s Championship last year,” Eland continued.
“The announcement of this bid is no doubt exciting news for these young players, as they stand a real chance of playing on the ultimate stage for female football and doing so here in Australia and potentially right here in their home city.”
“I encourage the entire football community to get behind this bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Let’s be bold and promote Newcastle and the Hunter Region as a potential host city. We have a rich history as the Heartland of Australian Football and most recently, a proven track record with hosting the AFC Asian Cup,” Eland concluded.