Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced Westfield Matildas Striker, Sam Kerr, as the first ever female marquee player in Australia, joining the likes of past marquees Dwight Yorke, Alessandro Del Piero, Tim Cahill and current Hyundai A-League Marquee Keisuke Honda. This is in conjunction with Kerr, re-signing with Perth Glory for the upcoming Westfield W-League Season.
In a move that reinforces FFA’s genuine commitment to women’s football in Australia, today represents a landmark moment in Australian football to have a professional women’s player supported through the marquee player fund, which has traditionally been allocated to Hyundai A-League players.
FFA recognises the important role that both the Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League play in growing the game. Developing and promoting male and female heroes that the community can connect is a critical part of this strategy. This announcement today will pave the way for Australia to have female marquee players in the future.
FFA CEO David Gallop, was proud that FFA, Perth Glory and FOX SPORTS had worked together to ensure that Kerr would be home for the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season, giving Australian football fans the chance to be thrilled by Kerr in person.
“Sam Kerr is truly one of the best female footballers in the world right now and one of the most recognisable sports people in Australia and football worldwide. Sam’s reach extends well beyond the football field, as illustrated by her being the current Young Australian of the Year” said Gallop.
“We truly hope that historic days like today will ensure we create an important legacy for professional female players in the future.” concluded Gallop.
FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, was also excited that Sam Kerr had agreed to return to Perth Glory as a marquee player.
“We are committed to growing the Westfield W-League into one of the top professional female leagues in the world and we are excited to be working with FOX SPORTS on a range of initiatives to ensure the Westfield W-League is a league of choice for the best female players in the world.
“Whilst our marquee player strategy is strongly focussed on continuing to raise the profile of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League. Kerr will play an instrumental role in promoting the game of football as a whole, across both the professional game and the significant grassroots player base and also transcending the traditional boundaries of the men’s and women’s game,” concluded O’Rourke.
FFA’s Head of Women’s Football, Emma Highwood was thrilled to have Kerr returning to Australia for the build up to the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup.
“Continuing to build significant interest in the women’s game is particularly critical in the next 6 to 8 months as FFA continues to work hard to secure the right to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said Highwood.
“In addition, it is wonderful to have players like Kerr home in Australia in the lead up to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, giving fans a chance to see their heroes in person as they prepare for one of the biggest tournaments of their footballing careers,” concluded Highwood.