Up and coming Westfield Matildas players are set to benefit from a new program launched today to help develop some of the country’s rising female football stars. Sports Minister Stuart Ayres today launched the ‘Future Matildas’ initiative, a specialised training and support program for current Matildas players aged between 15 and 20 years old.

“I have been delighted to witness the growth of women’s football in New South Wales over the past few years spearheaded by the success of the Matildas on an international platform –  including winning the 2017 Tournament of Nations and runners up at the 2018 Asian Cup,” Mr Ayres said.

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“There is every likelihood ‘Future Matildas’ nurtured through this program will compete on the world stage playing for Australia in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which Australia hopes to host.”

The NSW Government through the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) has provided $70,000 to Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Football NSW towards the half a million dollar pilot program – which seeks to bridge the gap between the current and future generations of Westfield Matildas.

Promising players will have improved access to senior coaches and support staff  and the ability to train in a high performance environment outside of the Westfield W-League season.

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Player Cortnee Vine said: “The Future Matildas program provides me with coaching from some of the best coaches in the world. The holistic and highly individualised program targets my key areas of development to take my game to the next level and continually challenge for selection in the Matildas squad.

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic said: “There is a significant daily training environment gap for young Australian female players particularly during autumn and winter. The Future Matildas program will help to fill this void, boosting talented players’ exposure to elite training and matches.”

The program will assist in developing players ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, along with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.