The Newcastle Jets could contest a proper home-and-away season in the W-League as early as next season, according to FFA chairman Chris Nikou.
Nikou made the bold call on the future of the women’s game in Australia at an FFA community summit alongside FFA chief executive David Gallop last Wednesday evening at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
The competition’s chairman stated that “a full home-and-away season” should be the key focus of the W-League as whispers of expansion continue to swirl around the world of football in Australia.
“You support your club, you support all elements of the club,” Nikou said in Adeliade.
“So that’s why part of the New Leagues Working Group [NLWG] is to provide a tangible plan around the women’s game. It’s how are we going to get it to the next level.
“A true home-and-away season, I’d like to see that as the next step for the W-League.”
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Nikou’s comments comes a week after Juventus attracted nearly 40,000 fans to Juventus Stadium when their women’s team faced off against Fiorentina. Just two weeks earlier Atletico Madrid broke the world club attendance record in Madrid when their ladies squad faced Barcelona in the domestic competition with 60,739 in attendance.
Nikou’s calls have pulled into the spotlight the fact that all eleven seasons of the W-League have never seen a full home-and-away format gracing the national competition. The women’s top grade league currently boasts nine clubs, meaning it would take just eighteen rounds to play out the entire season.
Discussions around the expansion of the women’s game have come hand in hand with the NLWG report due in the next few weeks, which touches on W-League expansion, as well as an independent A-League and a completely national second division.
Further news on the expanded W-League, including the potential additions of Wellington and Central Coast teams, is expected by mid-year.