Footballing dreams for women and girls in Victoria and Melbourne’s west have been given a huge boost with the APL confirming today Western United will receive a W-League licence ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The inclusion of a women’s team is a significant milestone in the Club’s history and one that has been part of the ambition of Western United from inception.
Jason Sourasis, Chairman Western United FC, said:
“We’ve been relentless in our pursuit of this licence – we’ve been adamant from the beginning that our Club is not complete until we can provide opportunity for all footballers of the west to represent their region at a professional level and aspire to have the opportunity to represent their country.
“This is a landmark day for the Green and Black and shows our commitment to growing football in the west – for everyone.
“We are privileged to be able to build a club for the future that will provide opportunities to both genders from the beginning of the Western United journey.”
Western United has been preparing for this milestone moment for over 12 months with the Calder United FC partnership.
“We’ve worked hard to seed the inception of female football at our Club by building a strong partnership with Calder United. It’s been a brave partnership and I thank all of the people involved for their effort and vision,’ Sourasis said.
Western United and Calder United Football Club formed a partnership in 2020 to create meaningful pathways for female football, which resulted in the women’s team playing exhibition games in Ballarat, Geelong and Tasmania.
Most recently, the partnership established an elite women’s development program to give a select group of talented athletes the opportunity for more tailored training by Western United coaches.
Amanda Stella, Head of Female Football Western United and President Calder United, said:
“I’m overjoyed with pride and excitement for what’s next. I know how much this means to our girls who love the game of football and want to be the best and represent the west.
“It’s really just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg for what we can achieve together for the sport and the region.”
Western United formally submitted their application for a W-League licence in July 2021.
Preparations will continue in earnest to ensure Western United’s W-League team are at the strongest performance level possible ahead of the 2022/23 W-League season.