Blacktown City Council has put its support behind the State’s finest emerging teenage footballers with a series of upgrades to the Blacktown International Sportspark, the New South Wales base for Football Australia’s the Future Matildas’ program.
The Future Matildas program was launched in 2018 to help develop the next generation of Australia’s elite female footballers, and since its inception, several program participants have gone on to represent the country’s senior team, the Commonwealth Bank Matildas, including: Kyra Cooney-Cross, Mary Fowler, Charlotte Grant, Bryleeh Henry, Courtney Nevin, Jamilla Rankin, Karly Roestbakken and Remy Siemsen.
From April to October 2022 inclusive, thirty Future Matildas’ scholarship holders from across the country participate in four to five training sessions per week at Blacktown International Sportspark, with Blacktown City Council financing $250,000 in venue upgrades over recent years to install storage facilities, additional dressing rooms, and a permanent meeting space/classroom for the Future Matildas to use exclusively.
Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said Council was proud to support up and coming female footballers through the Future Matildas program.
“Blacktown City is a proud sporting city and we have a long history of sporting excellence and the Blacktown International Sportspark is one of the best multi-sport venues in Western Sydney,” Mayor Bleasdale said.
“The Future Matildas program is a wonderful initiative to support young women and girls develop the skills they need to rise to the top of the game.
“Women’s football is in a fantastic position in Australia currently, in particular in Western Sydney, and the future looks extremely bright.
“Council’s investment in the program just serves to highlight the commitment we have in Blacktown City to nurturing the growth of this next generation of women’s football talent.”
With the support of the NSW Institute of Sport and Football NSW, the NSW program of the Emerging Matildas is run by Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas (U20) Head Coach Leah Blayney, who said the support of Blacktown City Council has enhanced the program offering.
“Blacktown City Council and the team at Blacktown International Sportspark have been strong advocates of the Future Matildas program in New South Wales since its inception and share our vision of providing the best environment possible to drive the development of the country’s best female football talent,” explained Leah Blayney.
“The recent upgrades and exclusive use facilities have made a significant difference to the Future Matildas program, as they have enabled us to store equipment and conduct all our meetings onsite, which has aided the program coaches and participants to spend more time on the training park and putting into practice what we’ve just discussed in our classroom sessions.
“Since 2018, we’ve already seen this program bear fruit with several graduates selected in the Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas extended squad for the upcoming FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica and even the senior national women’s team, so I’m excited to see what can be achieved in the next five years,” concluded Blayney.
Football Australia and Football NSW is celebrating Female Football Week 2022 from May 6 – 15 to drive female participation at all levels of the game.
Click HERE to review what events are happening in New South Wales during Female Football Week 2022.