Regional NSW scores in countdown to 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Coffs United under 14’s celebrate with the conga.


Young girls aspiring to play for the Matildas will benefit from a NSW government-funded talent identification and youth development program over the next three years.

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The news was welcomed by the local football community, including Boambee FC President Fiona Clancy, who highlighted the untapped talent in the region.

“The government funding for young girls talent identification and development in regional areas is a boom for many young girls who don’t usually have the opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Ms Clancy.

“There is a lot of untapped talent in regional areas and to provide these young girls with access to coaching and development opportunities that currently only those who live in metropolitan areas will see the standard of high level female football in Australia improve in coming years.

“With the excitement of the 2023 Women’s World Cup building there is no better time to turn our eyes to women’s football,” she said.

Brett Hodgekiss, who coaches the girls under 14’s at Coffs United FC, welcomed the news with a big smile.

“The football community gave out a loud cheer when we heard the Women’s World Cup was heading to Australia.

“It’s not just about the matches, it’s the funding that goes along with a World Cup that will help grassroots footballers take the next step if they choose to, and that’s vital for the future success of the game,” said Mr Hodgekiss.

“I can’t think of a better time or place for girls to be playing football, it’s been the fastest growth area at the Football Club, the girls have even adopted a conga dance as a celebration after matches.”

And it seems the conga will go for longer as the opportunities for aspiring young girls in the region continue to grow.

Launching the program in Albury, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said an investment of $750,000 by the NSW government will ensure players from regional NSW have the opportunity to showcase their skills in the lead up
to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Regional NSW is home to some of the most talented athletes in the country and has a rich history of producing Matildas with more than half of the national team coming from our state’s regions over the past 40 years,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This investment from the NSW government will ensure the next generation of girls and young women in regional NSW have the same level of access to coaching and support as their peers in the city as they strive to represent
Australia on the world stage.

“Focusing on girls aged between 12 and 18 years old, the funding will support the establishment of training hubs across the state.

“Identified talented young players will be further supported through the provision of training camps and player support scholarships, with the added bonus of being tutored by current and former Matildas,” said Mr Barilaro.

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee said the NSW government is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy from hosting 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches.

“We are witnessing an exciting new era in Australian women’s football and this investment will create successful pathways for aspiring girls in regional NSW who dream of wearing the green and gold,” Mr Lee said.

“With current and former Matildas stars including Emily van Egmond, Katie Gill, Ellie Carpenter, Sally Shipard and Amy Chapman all growing up in regional NSW, this program will establish a pathway for aspiring Matildas in their local communities.”

Football NSW Chief Executive, Stuart Hodge, said the organisation is committed to providing the best opportunities for female players.

“Hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will inspire the next generation of Matildas and with the support of the NSW Government, together with Football Australia and Northern NSW Football, we are committed to providing the best training and development opportunities for our female athletes across regional NSW,” Mr Hodge said.




’No better time to turn our eyes to Women’s Football’ from Boambee FC.

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