New Melbourne Victory women's football team kicks off

Football fans throughout Victoria can look forward to following the fortunes of their very own team of elite female football stars in the inaugural season of the Australian-wide national competition – the Westfield W-League.

Football fans throughout Victoria can look forward to following the fortunes of their very own team of elite female football stars in the inaugural season of the Australian-wide national competition - the Westfield W-League. Sport and Recreation Minister James Merlino today launched Melbourne Victory Women today.

“The recent performance of our national team, the Matildas, in reaching the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup in China has undoubtedly inspired a number of people, especially girls to take up the sport,” Mr Merlino said.

“Currently women-s football enjoys an overall 6.3 per cent growth rate making it one of the fastest-growing female sports in Australia. Close to 7000 females are now playing organised football in Victoria.”

Mr Merlino said the women-s team is a joint effort between Melbourne Victory and Football Federation Victoria.

“The Brumby Government is taking action to ensure all Victorians have every opportunity they need to encourage healthy, active involvement in sport and recreation,” Mr Merlino said.

“We are proud to support this initiative through funding support to help launch the team, in addition the Brumby Government will work with Football Federation Victoria on a $160,000 community development program with the Melbourne Victory Women-s team.

“The program will be designed to encourage grassroots participation in women-s football in Victoria, and is funded through our $1.2 million Women in Sport package.

“Women-s football in Australia is truly entering the dawn of a new era, and I-m sure the new competition will see the new generation of Melbourne Victory female players lead the charge into the next phase.

“I encourage all Victorians to witness history in the making and come and support this fantastic team in their debut match against the Central Coast Mariners, part of a double header with the men-s Hyundai A-League team on Saturday, October 25 at Telstra Dome,” he said.

Melbourne Victory chief executive officer Geoff Miles is also looking forward to the inaugural Westfield W-League game and the benefits that this competition, in conjunction with the National Youth League, brings to the growth of football in Australia.

“For Melbourne Victory to now have teams in three elite football competitions, says a lot for how quickly football is growing in Victoria and Australia,-- Mr Miles said.

“The model developed by Football Federation Australia, in introducing two new competitions this season, now provides a streamlined national pathway for players of both genders, which is a great initiative to support the enhancement of elite playing opportunities in this country.

“The new Victory Westfield W-League team also says a lot about the growth of Melbourne Victory, providing new opportunities for young footballers to aspire to, and makes our club unique as a sports club in Melbourne.--

Mr Miles thanked Football Federation Victoria for its strategic and operational input into the development of the Melbourne Victory Women-s team, as well as the Brumby Government for its ongoing support and specifically in launching our women-s team.