The pathway to play grassroots and elite women’s football in Melbourne’s west has received a significant boost with the Western United Football Club and Calder United Soccer Club announcing an exciting new partnership.
The two clubs are set to work together by sharing resources and expertise to grow participation in the sport and talent pathways for females of all ages to fulfil their sporting ambitions.
The partnership vision includes programs from juniors, through the transitional youth years and on to the high performing Women’s National Premier League (NPLW) in the hope of producing the next crop of young and senior Matildas as well as forming the core of a future Western United W-League team.
“We are an inclusive, community-minded club with intentions to create programs that nurture and develop the football talents of all people from the west of Melbourne” Western United Chairman, Jason Sourasis said.
“This partnership will be the first of its kind in Australian female football. It will enable participants to have consistent programs within one clear, robust development pathway right through to the W-League. Without it, we felt we weren’t truly representing our region and diverse fanbase.”
“Calder is looking forward to being able to continue with the development of female footballers while working closely with Western United to build a platform for the successful transition of players through mini Roos, NPLW and the W-League,” said Calder United Soccer Club President, Amanda Stella.
“Both clubs will continue to work with Football Victoria and Football Federation Australia in ensuring our partnership delivers the ultimate goal of creating and developing female footballers in Victoria,” Stella continued.
Western United FC officially applied to Football Federation Australia (FFA) for a W-League licence for the 2022 season, which would complete the intended talent pathway structure.
The club is also planning several on and off-field programs in the areas of women’s development and leadership, complemented by investments in female football employment and female community scholarships to be announced in 2021.
In conjunction to the ambitious and innovative Wyndham City Stadium project, which is on-track for completion ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, Western United is taking giant leaps towards realising its vision.
Sourasis added: “It’s an extremely exciting time for the club with numerous major projects on the go. To partner with Calder United – a reputable, successful and leading female-focused club from the west – presents a fantastic opportunity to work together to grow, not only an industry-leading development pathway, but to inspire and grow female participation in our great game.
“The club is committed to supporting FFA’s target of 50:50 male-to-female participation in the sport by 2027, and today’s announcement is a big step towards achieving that vision.”