Melbourne Victory to foster the next generation of female football leaders.

Melbourne Victory is pleased to announce the launch of a women’s and girls’ development fund to contribute to the growth of female football in all aspects of the game.

Melbourne Victory’s Female Development Fund will support female-specific projects that run across all levels of football, in line with the Club’s key community priorities of participation, cultural diversity, gender equity and education. 

The fund will strengthen the Club’s female football pathways, provide educational opportunities for female coaches and administrators, broaden participation and community outreach programming and support female infrastructure and activation projects.  

The initiative comes on the back of the Club’s lead donation in May from Melbourne Victory legend, Marco Rojas which supported a range of female-specific initiatives. 

Melbourne Victory Managing Director, Caroline Carnegie said the Club’s goal is to lead, unite, connect, and inspire through football and the Female Development Fund is an important step in delivering the Club’s vision for the women’s game. 

“Melbourne Victory wants to contribute to growing and enhancing the women’s game and supporting the growth and development of females in football, wherever they sit in the football community,” Carnegie said.

“Part of this is ensuring accessibility to the women’s game off the back of the Women’s World Cup and supporting the development of women to make the greatest impact on our game. 

“This is the reason we decided to make our home games at the Home of the Matildas free for patrons to experience and support the A-League Women’s (ALW) team for the 2023/24 season and why the fund will be important to our success in the women’s space.

“We’ve worked to remove the financial barriers for anyone who was inspired by WWC23 to continue to enjoy watching elite domestic football and to give our young boys and girls every opportunity to see their stars in action week in, week out.

“The other factor that we know is key to growing the women’s game is investment which is needed at all levels of the game to develop the next generation of talent and to continue to grow and build participation levels in football.

“We see our strategy around making the ALW accessible, along with the launch of our Female Development Fund as the beginning of the journey and we’re encouraging others to contribute in a meaningful way through our Fund. 

“We would love to see anyone attending our games to consider making a contribution to the fund in lieu of purchasing a ticket and also anyone passionate about women’s football to help us bridge the gap and build the future of the women’s game together.”

Marco Rojas said he was pleased that he could help drive and enact change through his contribution.

“Having been in football for most of my life, I noticed that there were quite a lot of gaps between what’s offered in the elite men’s space compared to the elite women’s,” Rojas said.

“I wanted to help as Melbourne Victory holds a special place for me and the opportunity to support the growth of the sport and bridging the gap was important to me.

“I am pleased that my donation has already helped with scholarship opportunities for two talented individuals and equipment for Melbourne Victory’s elite women’s program and Afghan Women’s Team.  

“My hope was that my support would create opportunities that may not have existed without my donation and inspire others to also do the same and help grow the game.

“I am excited that the Club is making gender equity a priority in the game I love through the implementation of the Female Development Fund.”

Melbourne Victory has worked with the Australian Sports Foundation to develop the Female Development Fund with all donations to be invested back into women and girls’ projects. 

As the program grows, specific grants to be made available for the wider football community to apply for.

The Club will also collaborate with partners and sponsors so that a proportion of new commercial deals in the women’s space are paid directly into the Fund to foster future growth and opportunity.