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Nov 03, 2010   |  2:41PM AET

2010/2011 Westfield W-League season launched in Sydney

2010/2011 Westfield W-League season launched in Sydney

The Westfield W-League 2010/11 season was launched today with representatives from each of the seven Westfield W-League teams joining over 100 local girls at a special football clinic held in Sydney this morning.

The Westfield W-League 2010/11 season was launched today with representatives from each of the seven Westfield W-League teams joining over 100 local girls at a special football clinic held in Sydney this morning.

Melbourne Victory-s Melissa Barbieri, Victoria Balomenos (Adelaide United), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Sally Shipard (Canberra United), Thea Slatyer (Newcastle Jets), Kate Gill (Perth Glory), and Kyah Simon (Sydney FC) traded coaching tips with the next generation of the footballers ahead of this weekend-s season opening.

Westfield Matildas captain and Melbourne Victory goalkeeper, Melissa Barbieri, is excited about the start of the new competition.

“It-s an exciting time, there-s not long to go and we-re looking good for another exciting season,” Barbieri said.

“I think this will be the closest season on record, the standard keeps rising and it just goes to show by the amount of players coming through that women-s football is on the rise.

“With seven teams in this year-s competition I think every match is going to be a closely fought affair, but in saying that I also think the playing standard is that much higher now that there-s also going to be some really impressive football out there this season.”

FFA Head of Women-s Football, Leeanne Grantham, believes that football is on the rise for women in Australia, and that the Westfield W-League has created a strong platform for the professional pathway in women-s football.

“What we have to recognise is that although we-re only in our third season the standard and professionalism of the league is improving in leaps and bounds,” Grantham said.

“The product we have on the park and the links we are creating to grassroots participation and to the extended women-s football family are becoming more and more inclusive.

“Women-s football is on the rise in Australia and I am proud to help launch season three of the Westfield W-League and look forward to another fantastic season for this group of wonderful, committed and talented athletes.”

The opening round of the Westfield W-League 2010/11 season will feature 2009 Champions Sydney FC up against the inaugural Champions Brisbane Roar in a Westfield W-League 2009 Grand Final re-match at Ballymore Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Melbourne Victory-s W-League team will have to wait until the second round to get their season underway because of the bye, they will host Sydney FC in Morwell at Latrobe City Stadium on Saturday 13 November, kicking off at 7pm.

Melbourne Victory announced their squad for the upcoming season last week, with coach Vicki Linton optimistic about the side-s prospects this season.

“We identified a number of areas where we were lacking in the squad from last season, and I-m pleased that we have been able to bring together a squad that we believe has a strong chance of making the finals this season,” Linton said.

Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Canberra United, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory and Sydney FC will all be challenging for a place in the Westfield W-League 2011 Grand Final played on Saturday 12 February 2011. There will also be an extra incentive for the players this season with Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni looking to select his squad for the upcoming FIFA Women-s World Cup 2011TM, which will be played in Germany in June.

ABC TV will again broadcast a ‘match of the week- live and exclusive on ABC1 and ABCHD throughout the 12 week competition and Westfield W-League 2011 Finals Series.

To view Melbourne Victory-s W-League fixture for the 2010/2011 season, please click here