Since receiving the fantastic news Australia and New Zealand will be hosting 2023 Women’s World Cup the NSFA Female Football Working Group (FFWG) have been working hard to ensure we create a legacy.
2021 FFWG member clubs
The What’s Best For Her Strategy is supporting NSFA and Female Football Coordinators to take positive strides towards our goals. NSFA’s vision is to have the highest number of female participants in the game by creating an inclusive and empowering culture centred on what’s best for her. A 2021 season highlight was reaching 72% player retention rate closing in on our 75% target by 2023. A significant improvement from 64% before forming NSFA Female Football Working Group. This improvement in player retention is seen across majority of FFWG clubs.
Our goal is to have 32% female player representation by 2023 in addition to increasing retention we are implementing initiatives to support this goal.
NSFA flexible U6 and U7 Girls program has experienced fantastic growth providing young girls a positive first experience with the game. The program saw an additional 76 players with a total of 162 U6 and U7 players across both North and South hubs. This program is key to build player depth to help clubs have at least two U8 teams. Building depth in Sapphires is a strategic priority, we currently have 84 female teams in U8 to U11 age groups this is compared with 371 mixed teams.
NSFA and MWFA have established a select team annual exhibition game for the last four years. Both associations pick a representation of their best WAA Premier League players for a showdown. 2021 NSFA retained the title with a stellar performance against MWFA side tying us at 2 – 2 after 4 years.
XLR8 have increased there female only player development opportunities led by caring and experienced female coaches.
2021 season we have expanded our offerings to coaches of the female game. In addition to the Inspire Sapphires curriculum we hosted Coaches of the Female Game workshops delving into topics specific and relevant to the female game.
Increasing the number of female coaches within NSFA is a strategic priority we aim to have 25% representation by 2023. The Female Coach Mentoring Program involving 39 female coaches, 12 NSFA clubs plus XLR8 and Northern Tigers and the Club Coaching Coordinator program are supporting this goal. In 2021 we have made positive steps reaching 14% female coach representation this is up from 7% in 2019.
Northern Tigers and XLR8 have been developing their female coaches preparing them for leadership positions. Hannah a Northern Tigers First Grade player and GSAP coach for the last three years stepped into the NPL1 Youth coaching ranks. XLR8 female coaches Ash and Kristi stepped into head coach roles with Sapphires and Women’s Skill Training program.
NSFA will continue to invest and develop these initiatives to support female coaches as well as coaches of the female game. We are committed to supporting more females take up leadership positions in football.
Inclusive and Empowering Culture
The hard work of Female Football Coordinators FFCs the last three years is building momentum. This is seen through the feedback received from What’s Best For Her initiatives. Jemima WAA Lindfield Premier League player captured the significance of experiencing an inclusive and empowering culture through NSFA Select process. The stories that female members; players, coaches, volunteers feel valued, have a strong sense of belonging is a significant reason why they stay in the game and our retention rate has increased to 72%!
Northern Galaxy is a fantastic example of two clubs: Berowra and Mount Colah putting the needs of their female players first and establishing an inclusive and empowering culture.
Female Football Week each year showcases the impact of What’s Best For Her and FFCs leadership. On the park and digitally the football community came together to celebrate female football.
NSFA Diamond League operated under a license format this season with 7 clubs participating. NSFA and these clubs are committed to investing resources to continue to elevate the experience for players and parents. The collaborative football ecosystem is important for our pathway goals. Northern Tigers and Diamond League joint initiatives such as exhibition games, joint training and coach education opportunities support this. The aim is to inspire a deep love of football where players are confident and empowered to challenge themselves. These opportunities directly impact development league 90% player retention rate goal.
Thank you to the NSFA clubs for being an integral part in a player’s journey in the game and developing them for representative level.
Three Northern Tigers players were selected for the 2022 Football NSW Institute prrogram – congratulations to Olivia Segafredo, Maya Trekofski and Jaime Clarke!
It is also fantastic to see 8 NSFA clubs had female representation in their NSFA SAP League programs: Hornsby Heights,
Kissing Point, Lane Cove, Mount Colah, North Sydney United, Northbridge, Lindfield and Turramurra United. This is a great development opportunity for female players.
Media and Communications
NSFA’s goal is to have equal representation between male and female game with 50-50 distribution in media releases. We are committed to creating engaging and informative content that puts female football front of mind. Female Football News highlights initiatives, opportunities, and stories of the female game. Diamond League retrospective series is an example of the insightful and engaging content.
As we head into the penultimate year of 2023 Women’s World Cup, we are excited with the structures and leadership in place. We are confident if we continue to work hard, we will reach our What’s Best For Her goals and vision to have the highest number of female participants in the game. Together we are stronger and together we will transform the female game within NSFA.
Written by Eilidh Mackay – NSFA Head of Female Football
Female football in NSFA is proudly supported by Harvey Norman.
This report is part of the 2021 NSFA Annual Report – click here to access the full document and previous reports.
Click here to view the What’s Best For Her Female Football strategy.
Click here to read more local female football stories!