Former AWFA star and Australian Matilda Amy Chapman has called for Football Federation Australia (FFA) to ramp up its investment of the women’s game.
Chapman was back on the Border for an AWFA representative function last week and spoke openly about the rise of women’s AFL and the possibilities for women in sport in the modern era.
“I think it's a perfect example of what you can do if you invest in sport,” Chapman said.
“I heard the other week they (the AFL) put almost eight or nine million dollars into marketing the women's game, which is incredible.
“We're certainly not asking for the same from the FFA, but we want to be heading in that direction.”
Chapman said it is wonderful that there are now several options available to female athletes.
“When I was growing up it was limited for females and there certainly was no career and no future,” she said.
I think it's great for the women's game and great for women's sport, but I hope we don't lose too many players to that sport because I think if we can keep the numbers in the women's game, we will win a World Cup or Olympics very soon.
Chapman admitted a lot of AFL coaches are trying to poach soccer players because it's a quick and easy transition.
But with the Matildas dominance in the Tournament of Nations last week, which saw them prevail against the USA, Japan and Brazil, Australian women’s soccer has never been stronger.
“I think it's great for the women's game and great for women's sport, but I hope we don't lose too many players to that sport because I think if we can keep the numbers in the women's game, we will win a World Cup or Olympics very soon,” Chapman said.
“It's time for Football Australia to step up and start investing in female players.”
Chapman currently trains with seven of the Matildas with Brisbane Roar in the W-League.
She admits the national women’s competition has continued to improve since its inception in 2008.
“Every single Matilda plays in the W-League and we're getting some of the best players in the world play here,” Chapman said.
“The W-League is growing, it's still only eight teams, but it's good they kept it at that level, because I think if we went too big, too quickly, perhaps the standard would drop a little bit.
“At the moment we're matching it with some of the best leagues in the world.”