sport, local-sport, Northern NSW Football

Female football is surging ahead in northern NSW with more and more women joining in the Female Football Revolution. Northern NSW Football has seen a 21 per cent increase in female football participation over the last five years with more ways than ever for women and girls to be involved in the beautiful game. The numbers are evident throughout the Macleay Valley where a total of five teams from the area made up the Women’s Northern League. A total of ten teams exist in that Football Mid North Coast competition meaning our region makes up for half. Macleay Valley Rangers were declared ‘point score champions’ this year to make it a hat-trick of championships. They suffered one defeat this season after previously going unbeaten for two years. Sign up here for a free weekly newsletter from the Macleay Argus. NNSWF has launched programs for female footballers from entry level through to adults, with the next round of Kick-On for Women and Miniroos Kick-Off for Girls Only programs open for registrations now. Northern NSW Football Head of Football Development Peter Haynes said the success of female Australian footballers overseas and the future hosting of international tournaments at home had helped drive excitement in women’s football. “There is more interest than ever both in women’s football and from women in football,” Haynes said. “That interest is only going to increase due to Australia and New Zealand hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, especially with Newcastle as a potential host city and a number of regional areas to be utilised as base camps and training facilities. “Further to that, you’ve also got Cessnock hosting a group of round one AFC under-17 women’s Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers next year. “The message here is that if you’re a female and you want to be involved in football, we have somewhere for you to play. Whatever your age, your experience or ability level, football doesn’t discriminate. Everyone can play.” Kick-On for Women participant Jessie White said she couldn’t wait to get back out onto the pitch this summer, especially after the COVID-19 lock-down. “For me it’s about fitness and mucking around with friends,” White said. “It’s a a fun, non-judgmental environment. We’re always laughing and it doesn’t matter that I don’t know what I’m doing. “A couple of my friends come along too. None of us had played before, we were nervous but by the end of the session felt great!”

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