Concerns over the W-League’s future have exacerbated with many star players enticed by full-time competitions offered overseas.
Europe has officially joined the party, offering a full-time schedule to W-League players – many of whom were otherwise juggling the National Women’s Soccer League and W-League, in addition to representing their country.
Chloe Logarzo is the latest W-League player to head over the WSL, joining Bristol City and becoming the fourth Australian to join the league – with Jacynta Galabadaarachchi, Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso already there.
While the W-League has been home to several Matildas since its inception in 2008, the competition is at risk of “falling behind the eight ball,” according Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Ella Mastrantonio – who says more has to be done to keep the best players in Australia.
“It’s definitely exciting, because now there’s a fully-fledged opportunity for women’s football out there when in years gone by there never has been,” she told FNR.
“I think other leagues are going to follow in the WSL’s footsteps, so it’s an exciting time but on the other hand it is a worrying time for the W-League over here because unless we try do something to keep our best players here we’re going to fall behind the eight ball.
“There has definitely been lots of conversations around it and speaking to a few of our players, their aim is to try and go overseas after this window and obviously depending on which league’s they’re going to, that can impact their W-League season next year.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for our girls to play over there at the highest level, but on the other hand it’s a worrying sign for the W-League. Hopefully something kicks into gear that we can hopefully make our W-League a full-time and fully professional league.”
The Wanderers meet Adelaide United on Saturday, before two finals dress rehearsals against Sydney FC and Melbourne City in the next fortnight.
Sitting five points clear inside the top four, it seems almost certain the Wanderers will be playing finals and contending for its maiden piece of silverware.
“It’s very tight at the top of the table all the way down to fifth, so we just need to stick to the task in hand with every game that’s thrown at us and we can make some history,” Mastrantonio said.
“Every game from now is like a cup final anyway because we want to push and win the league and do as best as possible.”
Featured Image: Western Sydney Wanderers FC