Monday, December 15, 2008

Roar Women Win First W-League

Neil said...

'tsk, tsk. What no mention of the Roar W-League team winning the inaugural premiership? Doing something that the boys can't do.'

He's right you know. Under the right circumstances the W-League could be the most popular of all football codes in Australia - including AFL. But at the moment it isn't getting much coverage. One game is live on the ABC on Saturday afternoons, so they are very accessible.

The youth league has had a real impact on the A-League. Fringe players and players getting back from injury get to show their stuff plus young players could get a call up. As far as the young players go the Roar has been the best at this so far.

For the women there is no direct connection. And while the youth games may get a go within a few hours of the seniors, I don't recall this for the women.

The Roar women have done something the men haven't been able to, win silverware. And talking to Roar officials it seems that Queensland has had a big advantage in the womens, with more quality players coming from up here than other states. Meaning that key players in other teams are often Queenslanders. In the game I watched the Roar were playing short passing football and Sydney a long ball game - Roar won 3-0.

I think the women - with the extra money and quality and competition could bit a World Cup threat in a few years. Football has a real chance to attract the young athletes that currently stick with netball and basketball. More coverage and international results will attract more sponsorship - have you scene the huge banners in Westfield.

Currently, the W-League is where the NSL used to be - limited coverage and airplay, some international success but limited competition - only around 3 competitive teams - and small crowds. A bit of magic and it could suddenly be a great night out...


Hamish said...

Couldn't agree more John. The only W-League game I've got to so far was the Roar's only defeat, against Canberra (so I probably should stay away). It was a pretty average game actually, with a poor pitch and a wind that was stifling creativity, but in general I think I find women's soccer at least as entertaining as men's. It has the potential to be much closer to a game the football puritans talk about than the men's.

Neil said...

Congrats to the Roar girls. Queensland has an excellent model for developing women's football that all other states should be following.
On the competition itself, if it is to remain at 8 teams next year I would like to see it go to 14 rounds, just so every team plays each other twice - both home and away. And then future years with some more money expand it to be of a similar duration to that of the mens.