Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today called for the immediate introduction of Minimum Medical Standards after the 2015/16 PFA W-League Injury Report revealed a 132% increase in the number of games missed due to injury.

The report’s findings showed that 174 games had been missed as a result of injury for the 2015/16 season, up from 75 when compared to 2014. Knee injuries accounted for over 40% of games missed in the competition, more than doubling last campaign’s total of 35 to 71.

Formulated from publicly available data, the third edition of the report showed that only Canberra United and Newcastle Jets had managed to reduce the number of games missed due to injury, whilst Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers recorded significant increases compared to the 2014 season.

With the incidence of injury having also risen from 29 injuries to 46, PFA Player Relations Executive Kathryn Gill said the immediate introduction of W-League Minimum Medical Standards was a must.

“The introduction of the A-League Minimum Medical Standards in 2011 has proven effective at combating both the incidence of injury and the number of games missed a result of them,” said Gill. “It is simply unacceptable that our elite female players have not been afforded the same level of protection.

“The incidence of knee injuries is extremely concerning. This requires further examination and must be a priority ahead of next season.

“The growth of the W-League will be undermined if the competition’s clubs are regularly unable to call upon their most talented players.

“The evidence from the A-League is clear that on-field performance is strongly related to the efficient management of injuries, and that clubs which do more to assist their players reap the benefit on the field.

“Following extensive collaboration with FIFPro Chief Medical Officer Doctor Vincent Gouttebarge, W-League Minimum Medical Standards must include the following:

>> medical testing prior to the commencement of each season;

>> all clubs having certified specialist sports physicians;

>> detailed player medical records being kept by clubs;

>> the right for players to seek a second medical opinion;

>> registered physiotherapists available at each club prior to and after training and matches; and

>> all club trainers holding a Sport Trainer Level 2 from Sports Medicine Australia and / or a tertiary qualification in Sports Conditioning.

“It is critical for the continued growth of the women’s game that these measures are implemented ahead of next season.”

The Full 2015/16 PFA W-League Injury Report :

W league injury 2016 PRINT