To celebrate 10 seasons of the Westfield W-League, we chat with Adelaide United Women defender, Georgia Campagnale, about the progress of the competition and whether it has in turn enhanced the local WNPL.
Georgia Campagnale says an increase in professionalism has coincided with the management of AUFC Women returning to Adelaide United in 2016.
Since first joining the Reds in 2014 Campagnale has noticed a general incline in relation to the standards of the competition each season.
“Obviously the professionalism of being back with Adelaide United has increased,” she said.
“I have found that each year the professionalism in the team has been increased with better internationals from America as well.
“They’ve definitely made a difference within the team.
“And each year it steps up we get more opportunities to improve ourselves, more facilities and coaches to learn off from.”
During the off-season Campagnale plays in the FFSA Women’s National Premier League with Adelaide City.
The 21-year-old said the growth of the Westfield W-League will have a positive impact in the quality on display in the WNPL.
Aspiring footballers coming through the ranks now have a higher chance of being adequately paid in contrast to their predecessors, given the enhanced conditions.
“I think that in the WNPL there are a lot of young girls competing which is really good,” she said.
“… So allowing the WNPL to develop those young players is really good for the W-League.”
Those conditions, such as minimum player salaries, were reached through a Collective Bargaining Agreement released back in September.
Campagnale praised the work of the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and revealed they have even assisted her during her studies.
“The PFA have even announced they want to improve it even more for us,” she continued.
“At the moment they’ve done a very good job helping us girls and the PFA have also been very helpful to me for like me with my education.
“So they’ve always supported every player that I’ve spoken to and honestly if they can keep improving the conditions it will create a better league and attract more players to come.”
Campagnale hoped the league would be considered one of the truly elite competitions in the world for women’s sport in several years’ time.
She added the best chance of the Westfield W-League prospering is via the success of the Matildas.
“I’d like to see it become something where it is one of the better competitions to play football in the world,” she said.
“Especially Australia, the Matildas are doing well so obviously if we keep doing well our national team is going to promote the league as well.
“Obviously we want the league to continue improving and that’s helped with the PFA as well such as the salary increases to amount where girls don’t have to worry about working part time.
“A longer season as well would be great and even out the competition a bit more.”
Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 13 of the Westfield W-League 2017/18 season on Sunday, 28 January at Marden Sports Complex.
FFA, in consultation with all key stakeholders, has taken the decision to delay the kick-off due to the expected high temperatures forecast for Sunday in Adelaide. Kick-off is now 6pm.