WA football club levelling the playing field

Curtin University FC Women's coaches Dan Jones (far left) and Morrison Dean (far right) with players (L-R) Jemma Garvey, Emily Gurney and Jessica Sheridan. Photo: Ben Smith.
Curtin University FC Women's coaches Dan Jones (far left) and Morrison Dean (far right) with players (L-R) Jemma Garvey, Emily Gurney and Jessica Sheridan. Photo: Ben Smith.

CURTIN University Football Club are doing their bit to level the playing field ahead of the upcoming football season.

The 2019 season will see the semi-professional club offer player contracts for the first time, which will be based off a percentage of revenue generated by sales on match day.

While contracts will not be offered to every player in the team, those on contracts will receive an equal split of a portion of the revenue.

Both the club’s men’s team (who play in State League Division Two) and women’s team (who play in State League Division One) have been offered the exact same contract terms.

Club president Campbell Ballantyne said he was not aware of any other club in WA to offering the same deal to both their men’s and women’s teams.

“If people come to watch their games and spend money at the bar and pay admission, the players will get paid and we’ve offered the same deal to the women,” he said.

“If more people come to watch the women, they women on contracts will get more money.”

For the past few season’s, Curtin’s men’s side have been given permission to spread their home games across Friday nights and Saturday afternoons and evenings.

However, the majority of women’s games have taken place on Sunday afternoons and Ballantyne said the club was working hard to heavily market the women’s games.

He said the coaches would decide which of their players were worthy of contracts and hoped it would raise the professionalism of the women’s team.

“It will hopefully make the talented ones among the group know they’re taken as seriously as the men,” he said.

“We’re expecting that to be reciprocal in them working as hard, getting in the team and treating their football at a little more of a professional level.”

Jessica Sheridan is a member of Curtin’s Division One women’s team and said she felt proud to be part of a club promoting equality.

She said the lure of equal contracts would helpfully boost participation numbers.

“It’s definitely a great opportunity to encourage a few different players down to any kind of club and a step in the right direction to start equalising female and male players.”