Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today published the sixth annual Report of the A-League Women’s competition, ahead of a transformational period for women’s football in Australia. 

With the A-League Women’s competition expanding to 12 teams and a 22-match home and away season by 2023/24, the Report provides an overview of the most-recently completed A-League Women’s campaign via analysis of the employment framework and workplace conditions of Australia’s domestic competition for professional female footballers. 

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill said the Report was of particular importance with the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off in just over a year’s time on 20 July 2023.

“The next 12 months will be transformational for women’s football with the largest women’s sporting event in the world arriving in Australia and New Zealand,” Gill said. 

“With more teams, more match minutes and more opportunities than ever before in the A-League Women over the next two seasons, this Report will be a useful and important benchmark as the competition develops and embraces this fantastic opportunity for growth

“While evidence in the Report demonstrates progress has been made, our objective to make football the career of choice for female athletes remains. This can only be achieved by providing the most attractive employment and conditions possible to players and continuing to prioritise players’ health and wellbeing and embracing our role in driving gender equality through and beyond the game.” 

Based on industry trends, independent research, data and player feedback, the Report analyses the A-League Women competition through the Employment Framework, League Assessment and Technical Report, providing a comprehensive review of the 2021/22 season. The following are among the findings in the report: 

Record investment in player payments 
A-League Women’s clubs invested close to $4m on player payments in 2021/22, representing record investment in competition history and reflecting the clubs’ and the Australian Professional League’s ambition to grow the competition. 

Developing players receiving majority of match minutes 
The number of players aged 18-24 who received appearances and match minutes continued to grow during the 2021/22 season, with 58% of total minutes played occupied by this cohort. Across the past three seasons, an average of 54.5% of total minutes were played by players aged 18-24. 

Players remain committed to building sustainable careers in Australia 
From the PFA’s annual player survey, 71 percent of respondents indicated their desire to remain in the competition next season, signifying the majority of players wish to build meaningful careers in Australia. With the players and the league committed to enhanced high-performance standards through a five-year CBA, confirmed increases to the minimum wage, and an expanded season in 2022/23, careers in the A-League Women will provide more security and certainty than ever before.

The A-League Women continues to play a critical role in developing National Team players 
Since January 2021, 46 players have received a call up for the Matildas for international competitions and friendlies. Of those, 21 players were based in the A-League Women competition. Nine of 16 players who made their debuts since January 2021 also came from the A-League Women, indicating the competition’s critical role in developing Australia’s next generation of talent, and providing a launchpad into the senior national team. 

To download and read the full Report, click here.