Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Maitland, Cessnock and the Home of Football at Speers Point have been identified as potential Team Base Camps for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) CEO David Eland said Northern NSW Football is committed to working with Football Australia to lure leading nations to the region for the duration of the tournament.
“The northern NSW region has been a go-to for the Matildas in recent years staging highly successful fixtures against Brazil and Chile.
“And while it goes without saying we are disappointed with this morning’s announcement that FIFA has not included Newcastle as a Host City of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, now is the time to dust ourselves off and focus on ensuring the event delivers an enduring legacy for the region and the country.
Already, NNSWF is working with Football Australia and the NSW Government to stimulate significant investment in community football facilities to ensure that the game has the capacity to cater for the surge in female participation in the sport.
NSW Government recently announced they have committed $50m to specifically improve sports amenities for females in regional NSW – which is a great start.
“We’re already seeing an increase in female participation across the sport with interim numbers for 2021 registrations showing 26% of current registrations for 2021 being female compared to 23% in 2019 (YoY comparison) – and there’s still time for young girls and boys to register for the season.
“This emphasises the ongoing support local clubs will need in obtaining funding to ensure that talented female players regardless of where they live, can access the expertise and competitive opportunities required to reach their potential will also be a focus.
Eland highlights, simply because Newcastle isn’t a host city, doesn’t mean Northern NSW residents will miss out on matches.
“Fortunately, Sydney is easily accessible from the Hunter Region and travelling north to Brisbane from the North Coast and Far North Coast is also accessible.
“Like with other large international tournaments, we’ll investigate how we can facilitate opportunities for the football community throughout northern NSW to attend fixtures in Sydney and Brisbane.
“The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is a once in a lifetime opportunity to partner government to deliver an enduring legacy for our game and our communities. Bring on 2023.”