Young girls the winner in FIFA Women’s World Cup

Claudia D'Souza (8), Emily Hallewell (9), Frances Noske (9), Maggie Noske (7) and Jessica Hancock (9) from the Fremantle City Football Club. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d493912 communitypix.com.au.
Claudia D'Souza (8), Emily Hallewell (9), Frances Noske (9), Maggie Noske (7) and Jessica Hancock (9) from the Fremantle City Football Club. Photo: Andrew Ritchie. d493912 communitypix.com.au.

IN BACKYARDS and parks all around Perth, young girls are emulating the national sports stars currently being splashed across their television screens.

Perth trio Sam Kerr, Lydia Williams and Lisa De Vanna and their Matildas teammates are one of the favourites in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and as televisions around WA broadcast the skills of the world number six Australians, young girls are stopping and taking notice.

And that, Football West chief executive James Curtis says, can only be a good thing.

Matildas ready to kick off world cup campaign

“West Aussies like Sam Kerr, Lisa De Vanna and Lydia Williams play a massive part in growing the sport, they are identifiable to local players who dream of making it to the top,” he said.

“The growth and popularity of the game broadly, and particular for females in WA is undeniable, and it creates a great opportunity for Government and corporates to get behind the game and create a legacy for current and future girls and boys.”

Sam Kerr and the Matildas. Picture: Getty Images

Mr Curtis said after a 38 per cent growth in female participation numbers between 2016 and 2018, almost 40,000 women and girls now played the sport in WA.

He said Football West’s aim was to achieve a 50:50 gender target by 2027.

Fremantle City Football Club (FCFC) is reaping the benefits of that participation increase, with 12 teams ranging from U10s to Womens’ premier grade as well as the Miniroos program for those under nine years old.

FCFC Womens and Girls Committee chairperson Michelle Rich said things had changed a lot since she was a 10 year old and had to play alongside the boys.

Best yet to come from Perth Glory’s Sam Kerr

“We are the one of the largest women’s club in the Perth metro area, a label that we are proud to hold with teams in every division south of the river,” she said.

“Having this level of depth in our teams allows FCFC to give a pathway that suits each and every player’s development needs and goals.

“FCFC promote Wauhop Park as the Womens and Girls Centre for Excellence, which from a person who has given 25 plus years to this sport, was a massive moment of pride.”

Claudia D’Souza (8) from the Fremantle City Football Club. Photo: Andrew Ritchie.

She said it was “incredibly important” to grow the sport among girls.

“Every child deserves the facilities to support their dream, I am so glad that I can be part of a program that helps build the confidence of young women and if all the effort that goes into this program changes just one young girls’ life, it is worth it,” she said.

“It is unbelievable that we are lucky enough to have one of the best teams in the world in football right here, this itself inspires the young players and gives them belief when they see women playing the beautiful game, that they can to.”

FCFC still has places available in their Miniroos Program for 2019.

Visit www.fremantlecityfc.com for more information.