WA Womens Football Forum Sunday November 30, 2013

These are notes taken by the Women’s Standing Committee Chair Penny Tanner and only an interpretation of the Forum’s discussion and action points.


  • Panel- Jessine Bonzas NTC, Sarah Walsh FFA, Peter Hugg CEO Footbwall West, Janette Spencer Football West Board, Penny TannerHoath WSC
  • Clubs-NTC, Beckenham Angels, East Fremantle, Fremantle United, Ellenbrook, Hammersley, Leeming, Melville City, Subiaco United, Balcatta, Queens Park
  • Referees body Hugh
  • School Sports Wayne Basedon

Papers presented and attached

Football West Strategic Plan 2014-2016

Football Federation Australia Strategic Plan 2016


Sarah Walsh (former Matilda and WSW player) explained her new role at Football Federation Australia (FFA) which is to facilitate implementing the new FFA Women’s Football strategic plan above. It was noted that womens football at FFA level is not in a commercially comparable position to mens football (Socceroos and A League for example) and therefore is not considered on the same terms. Sarah was very passionate about helping to change that.

Peter Hugg discussed the strategies in the plan and how they aligned to the new FBW strategic plan attached above. Football West has acess to a sport science department for our programmes now to assist in injury management and sports performance

Janette Spencer talked about mentoring and leadership and how Football West want to promote that to retain players in the game and upskilling is important in creating retention outside of the playing environment

Jessine Bonzas talked about the Skills Aquisition Programme SAP and how developing the younger age girls will increase their confidence and how we need to manage the programmes between all parties to help retain players in the sport. The NTC age groups are changing so that their will be one squad in the Premier state league and one in the boys junior competition with all ages capped at teen age as per National benchmarking and phiosophies. We need to concentrate on developing the younger age group so SAP will kick in for technical skills (under 10 years of age) without a regular competition requirement.

Penny TannerHoath talked about educating the young membership as part of what a club provides with registration (officiating, first aid, coaching etc) and how this will increase retention and loyalty to the club. Also the possibility of clubs sharing resources such as accredited coaches to educate other clubs young members. Members were directed to womensoccer.com.au to use as information exchange and the associated facebook page to comment after this forum.

Football has huge advantages over other activities competing for participants

  • its a world game and opportunities to participate go beyond the local club
  • body shape is irrelevant (unlike basketball, swimming and gymnastics for example)

Some challenges that women’s football has to dealwith that are the same across the entire sport and for females

  • massive turnover in 14-18 age group
  • how do we remove barriers to any girl wanting to participate
  • educating coaches as they are the one constant relationship throughout a season
  • increasing and growing the volunteer base, retaining volunteers by upskilling in first aid, officiating and more
  • how to work with non traditional types of football to grow the game (commercial recreation centres, in house junior club programmes, accommodating mums etc)

Discussions from the floor

  • negotiating with schools for use of facilities involves a risk management plan presented to the school body
  • how to connect junior girls in mixed teams and junior girls teams to the senior game
  • officiating is a low participation rate because of the perception and how can we change that (grass roots courses at clubs with younger players with other girls of same age)
  • will mens NPL affect womens football. At this stage mens clubs will not have to adopt a womens team and noted that only 3 womens state league clubs Balcatta, Subiaco Cockburn affiliate to current mens state league clubs
  • The NTC age groups are changing so the State League will only have 1 team and no reserves (this is to give the best group of girls the best quality competition).
  • Retaining and recruiting players who move through development programmes was passionately discussed with the outcome that recruiting at club level is considered a constant
  • the possibility of a separate cup competition for the Metro league was discussed and endorsed by various members present


  • Football West already have in place a way to encourage coaching upskilling by paying one third of the coaching course cost, asking the club to pay one third and the player one third
  • there are several five a side competitions organised by Football West and commercial recreation centres running through the year to encourage young players to take up football, used as an identification tool for development programmes and for varying participation. Football West are trying to connect all the centres together with a finals series that will see the winners from each centre come together at one venue for 2014.
  • Everyone present including the panel agreed that a statewide registration day advertised by Football West with major media campaign for clubs to use as publicity to promote women’s football in their area would happen, organised by Football West.
  • Football West has Perth Glory and NTC players and coaches available to clubs to use as role models
  • Football West has a club noticeboard and facebook page for clubs to post notices and advertise activities

This Forum was considered progressive in allowing clubs to voice their concerns network and exchange information with all parts of the game. With further things to talk about, everyone agreed to reconvene in January.