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Coaching in Australian women’s football: How FFA and PFA are tackling gender inequality in coaching (Australia)

There’s no better coach to have than a female coach that’s grown up playing.”

Women’s football in Australia is growing at an impressive rate on the back of the success of the Matildas, but one crucial element of the game is still a major work in progress.

While participation rates skyrocket, and exposure for our current crop of female stars is at an all-time high, the coaching side of the game remains dominated by men. Football as a code prides itself on the integral role the game is playing in the fight for gender equality, and those at the top have targeted coaching as an area where things stand to improve.

Across the nation, there are just over 40 females who boast the credentials needed to coach at a semi-professional level or above (possessing a Pro, A or B licence) – an alarming number considering there are hundreds of thousands of females playing the game in Australia.

But this isn’t just an issue prevalent in our own backyard.

In fact, just four of the 20 teams who competed at the recent FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup were coached by a female, while just three of the nine teams in America’s National Women’s Soccer League, the top domestic competition in the world, had a woman at the helm.

The issue also has societal connotations, with recent focus groups run by the FFA revealing women tend to shy away from coaching duties even at a grassroots level when volunteers are called upon.

So, what are we doing to fix it? Why is it so important? And who are the women in line to assume the top coaching positions in the female game?



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