For the first time in A-Leagues history, a women’s All Star team will be selected to take on a global football giant in the competition’s post-season.

Traditionally a fixture in the A-League men, the spotlight will be on the best players from the A-League Women as they challenge English Women’s Super League heavyweights Arsenal – a team home to A-Leagues alumni and Matildas Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Kyra Cooney-Cross.

For PFA Vice-President and Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lydia Williams, the post-season match is an exciting development following the exponential growth in women’s football and the success of a marquee football event in form of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Williams who previously played for Arsenal, but has since returned to Victory, spoke about how the match could serve as a springboard for local talent into overseas leagues.

“I think it’s really exciting,” Williams said about the All Star match.

“Not only do we want to promote the women’s game and talent of the three Matildas that are going to be in the Arsenal team but also the performance of A-League Women and… I guess people finding a club that they can support, not only just the Matildas but a favourite player or someone they inspire to be, so it’s really exciting to see that being shown on Australian soil.

“It’s a nice platform to get that exposure to what it is like overseas at the professional clubs over there and either what they can achieve or aspire to the life, or the pathway that they need to go and be selected in one of these teams.”

Both a men’s and women’s All Star team will be fielded for a doubleheader at Marvel Stadium on May 24, with an A-League Men select side taking on English Premier League side Newcastle United.

The matches will take place on the same weekend of the 2023-24 A-League Men’s Grand Final.


The last time the men’s A-Leagues All-Stars were in action was in May 2022, when they took on FC Barcelona at Accor Stadium in Sydney.

That match saw Garang Kuol burst onto the world stage with a star showing against some of the best players in men’s football.

Kuol’s performance was one of many positive showings throughout 2022, which ultimately led to him signing for Newcastle in September of that year.

Nestory Irankunda also took the field in the second-half and has gone from strength-to-strength since then with Adelaide United, signing for German giants Bayern Munich in November 2023.

A player who experienced a similar rise to stardom in his teenage years is Daniel Arzani.

His performances for both Melbourne City and the Socceroos at the 2018 FIFA World Cup earned him a move to the UK with Premier League champions Manchester City, before being loaned to Celtic.

Now, Arzani, who is back at Melbourne Victory, is one of the players who could feature against Newcastle – should his side miss the Grand Final – and detailed how big of a match this could be in more ways than one.

“I think it’s going to be a great showcase for a lot of young Australian talent to show themselves on an international level against some of the best players in the world,” he said.

“It’ll be really good for creating a good hype and atmosphere going into the finals and just for the sport in general in this country. I think it’s a win, win.

“It’ll be an incredible spectacle and it would be really cool to be a part of playing in front of… a sold out crowd, probably.

“It’s pretty insane. I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t love to play a game like that. Obviously [it’s] preferable to play in the finals match but it should be very cool.”