Northern NSW Football is preparing for female football to take the Hunter region by storm in 2021 as part of its biggest season yet.
NNSWF’s three Hunter-based Member Zones, Newcastle Football, Macquarie Football and Hunter Valley Football, are ready and raring to go this season following the challenges provided by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
A significant part of that excitement is around female football given NNSWF’s impressive recent growth in the women’s game.
NNSWF has seen a 26 per cent increase in female participation over the last five years, with 23 per cent of its players now female.
The Hunter region has exceeded that trend, with a 33 per cent increase in female participation over the last five years across Newcastle Football, Macquarie Football and Hunter Valley Football.
With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup less than two and a half years away and northern NSW’s important role as a host area, Northern NSW Football Head of Football Development Peter Haynes said it was an exciting time for the women’s game.
“Women and girls are a strategic priority for Northern NSW Football which aligns with Football Australia’s XI Principles,” Haynes said.
“This includes increasing opportunities for talented girls through talent development but also focusing on females at the community level and introducing them to football or retaining them as part of the football family.
“We’re excited by our own recent growth locally in terms of the female game and with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup looming on the horizon in gives us that motivation to really push to build that legacy that comes from hosting such a prestigious international event. Especially in terms of infrastructure and participation.”
There will be plenty of opportunities for women and girls to play football in 2021. Inter-District football will cater for all age groups including MiniRoos, under-12s to 18s, under-20s and 30s plus All Age on Fridays and Sundays.
It has been a busy time for women’s football with the NSW government announcing last month a $750,000 investment to fund a talent identification and youth development program for young female players from regional areas.
The state government also announced $50 million from its Regional Growth Fund to improve women’s sports facilities.
Matildas star Ellie Carpenter was also unveiled as a Regional NSW Ambassador and lead mentor for young female footballers.
NNSWF’s top tier female competition, the Herald Women’s Premier League, kicks off its 2021 season on 27 March.