Football West CEO James Curtis has welcomed comments from Perth Glory Women and Matildas superstar Sam Kerr who has given her support for a State Football Centre in Western Australia.
The scoring sensation, who aims to cap another stellar season by leading Glory to a maiden Westfield W-League Grand Final triumph this weekend, agreed WA needed the right facilities to ensure the next generation of young girls playing football were not left behind.
“It’s really important girls have the right facilities growing up and being able to play in a professional environment, so they can prepare for things like Young Matildas, Glory and Matildas camps,” Kerr said at an open media day at Perth SC’s Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday ahead of Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC.
“One of the challenges of being a professional athlete is not having the right facilities and the right support around you.
“I guess we’re lucky this time around with Glory that we have the support but it would be good having young girls growing up training in a professional environment to get them ready for what’s ahead.”
The support of Kerr, a former player in Football West NTC, reinforces the message from the football community in WA, Mr Curtis said.
“Having a player like Sam Kerr, who has come through our system, come out and support the need for a State Football Centre and for improved female facilities is fantastic,” he said.
“Sam has played at World Cups, is a multiple Golden Boot winner both in Australia and the US, and is one of the most well-known current footballers with the Australian public, male or female.”
Mr Curtis added that Government funding for female-friendly facilities was critical.
“Football West is rightly proud of our female football programs and have seen record numbers over a number of years,” he said.
“The talent is clearly there – just look at how many local players are in the Glory squad for this weekend’s grand final. They really are WA’s team.
“However, for more players to come through in future the infrastructure has to be in place.
“More than 70 per cent of females in football want increased Government investment and improved facilities. Females dissatisfied with facilities are 22 per cent less likely to be satisfied with their club and 36 per cent less likely to be satisfied with the standard of football. Those figures cannot be ignored.
“Football West fought hard to have the Matildas play in Perth last year for the first time. But the facilities were lacking for an international team. It is no different at community level and this has to be addressed.
“The Women’s World Cup is in 2023 and we must make sure our girls don’t miss out.”