Mary’s Wonder Women: Who is playing in the W-League grand final?

20 Have your say

    This Sunday, the tenth edition of the W-League will come to a close when the Grand Final is contested between Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

    Sydney booked their place in the decider after defeating the Newcastle Jets 3-2 in the semis, while Melbourne upset the reigning premiers, the Brisbane Roar, 2-0.

    I’m often asked why I don’t write more about the W-League, particularly given the Matildas are taking women’s football to international highs never seen before.

    Sam Kerr is now a household name and there is a genuine sense of excitement around this team, particularly ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup.

    Sam Kerr Matildas Australian Football 2017

    The Matildas (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images)

    One reason I don’t write more about the W-League is because women like Ann Odong and the team at The Women’s Game exist. They are passionate about football and can certainly cover the game far more genuinely and authentically than I can.

    But the main reason is because, most of the time, football is not on my radar.

    Around 90 per cent of my twitter feed is centred around sport. I often joke that if I am unaware that a sporting event is on, then the marketing teams at the governing bodies aren’t doing their jobs. But there is a kernel of truth to that joke.

    When writing the opening paragraphs for this article, I had to look up who was going to be playing against Sydney FC in the final, because the information had not reached me via social media.

    That is a problem.

    Football is strong in this country. Devoted fans mean that an A-League derby between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers can attract over 36,000, while figures released by AusPlay last year showed football tops participation rates, with 1.1 million adults and children playing the sport.

    But in an overcrowded sporting market, it’s not good enough for the FFA to simply rely on these football devotees. They need to make sure the A-League and W-League are front of mind for sports fans.

    I’ve seen very little promotion about the W-League and A-League this summer. I receive most of my football news from key influencers in the space like Ann Odong, Daniel Hanney, Danielle Warby, Lucy Zelic, Heather Reid, Sarah Groube and Samantha Lewis. Canberra United also do an outstanding job ensuring their brand remains visible on social media.

    But there needs to be a relentless machine backing these people up with content from the governing body.

    There is tremendous talent in our W-League competition that deserves promotion and celebration.

    If you are based in Sydney, make sure you head out to Allianz Stadium to watch the game. If you can’t get there, you can tune in live on Fox Sports and SBS on Sunday afternoon, with the game kicking off at 5pm.

    Congratulations to Lynne Anderson, who is the newly elected chairperson at the Canterbury Bulldogs, having defeated incumbent Ray Dib and his ticket.

    Former premiership-winning player and coach (and Lynne’s husband) Chris Anderson, former players Steve Price, Steve Mortimer and Paul Dunn, and John Ballesty and John Khoury make up the rest of the board.

    Lynne brings a deep, personal connection with the Bulldogs, being the daughter of Peter ‘Bullfrog’ Moore. Lynne also has a wealth of experience, having held positions such as managing director of Repucom Pty Ltd and is the CEO of the Australian Paralympic Committee.

    The Dogs go into season 2018 in an almost unprecedented position – new board, new CEO and new coach. I hope for some stability at Belmore this year and am confident with people like Lynne, Andrew Hill and Dean Pay involved, they will achieve far more.

    Watch this space
    Applications to have a women’s team in the first year of the NRL women’s competition are due today.

    You may have read that there is limited interest from clubs and, at this stage, the North Queensland Cowboys, Gold Coast Titans and Canberra Raiders will not submit bids, while the Melbourne Storm are unlikely to.

    In Sydney, the Manly Sea Eagles, Penrith Panthers, Wests Tigers and Canterbury Bulldogs are also unlikely to put in bids.

    I don’t want rugby league fans to confuse this lack of bidding as a lack of interest in women’s rugby league. The harsh reality is that for many clubs, the women’s competition being announced last December meant budgets had already been drawn up for the upcoming season and the cost of an additional team may have been too much.

    The bidding process means clubs have seen the infrastructure required to have a women’s team. Now that they know what the expectations are, the clubs can begin working toward forecasting for inclusion in season 2019.

    As for which teams will be included in the first iteration of the competition – watch this space.

    I’m predicting that it will include the Cronulla Sharks, St George Illawarra Dragons, Newcastle Knights, Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors.

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (20)

    • February 16th 2018 @ 7:27am
      Onside said | February 16th 2018 @ 7:27am | ! Report

      One aspect of women’s sport ,pivotal to media coverage, is Australia’s ability to compete with New Zealand. Netball, Rugby 7’s, Rugby 15’s, and Rugby League., where either Australia or New Zealand are World champions.

      International sports that do not involve competing with New Zealand in the final, are less likely to be on the radar., even though they are Olympic events and hold World Championships. Basketball, football, field Hockey, waterpolo, where more often than not, just being in the finals represent success .

      The Commonwealth games looms large and the Australia V New Zealand competition will draw the most attention.

    • February 16th 2018 @ 7:47am
      Kangajets said | February 16th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Good luck to Sydney and city women on the weekend. Nice to see such a terrific competition this year playing in front of good crowds .

      So Mary.” If you don’t know who is playing that’s the marketing of w league fault “”

      Yet I haven’t a clue who’s playing Aussie rulz tonight, so that must be the afl fault .

      Actually Mary, I think we are just showing our own bias to what sport we prefer ,
      rather then me blaming the afl and yourself blaming other the Ffa .

      Let’s hope the Sydney fans turn up in big numbers for the grand final .

      • Columnist

        February 16th 2018 @ 9:28am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | February 16th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Kanga, it’s definitely part of it.

        I am an avid user of social media. I spend more time on twitter than I care to admit and follow basically everything to do with sport.

        If something isn’t reaching me – then who exactly is it reaching? Wouldn’t you want to target someone like me who likes sport and could potentially become a new fan of a competition?

        • February 16th 2018 @ 9:54am
          Nemesis said | February 16th 2018 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          Mary, I, too, am an avid user of social media.

          I get zero information on AFL, AFLX, AFLW, BBL, NRL, Rugby.

          Why? Because the people & organisations I follow are chosen to satisfy my interests.

          I know AFL was played last night. I have no idea who were the teams, or players.

          I think Rugby, or Rugby League, had some tournament recently – saw something on the MediaWeek Twitter feed. I’ve no idea what that was about.

          Is Australia still playing England in Cricket in AUS, or is it over? I’ve no idea.

          I’ve no idea who won My Kitchen Rules last night, or who bonked who on Married At First Sight.

          Do we blame the marketing? Or, is it that I just have no interest.

          • February 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm
            Casper said | February 16th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

            Nemesis – I would say that you are very up to date with what’s going on in the AFLW and AFL. You would know all of the attendance and tv ratings trends of those two competitions.

            In fact I would bet London to a brick that you would have watched some of the AFLX last night. Therefore, you would know what teams were playing.

            • February 16th 2018 @ 2:32pm
              Nemesis said | February 16th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

              Well, you are not only clueless, you are now without a brick … although I doubt you’ve ever been to London, let alone own any real estate in the City.

              Given hundreds of thousands of loyal AFL fans didn’t tune in last night to watch the AFL Clowns, why would you bet people who have no interest in AFL would tune in?

              • February 16th 2018 @ 3:19pm
                Casper said | February 16th 2018 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

                Why do I think that you tuned into AFLX? Because you are obsessed with how the AFL is tracking and you wrote on Twitter that you tuned in.

                Don’t worry about the bet, getting the better of you again is satisfaction enough.

              • February 16th 2018 @ 3:53pm
                Nemesis said | February 16th 2018 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

                I’ve no idea who you are on Twitter, but on this forum you are delusional.

              • February 16th 2018 @ 4:26pm
                Casper said | February 16th 2018 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

                Proving once again that there is absolutely nothing that you won’t lie about.

          • Columnist

            February 16th 2018 @ 3:04pm
            Mary Konstantopoulos said | February 16th 2018 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

            But I do have interest… not as much as rugby league obviously, but I have interest in the W-league.

    • February 16th 2018 @ 8:07am
      Nemesis said | February 16th 2018 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Thanks for the WLeague input, Mary.

      For sure the FFA needs to do more on marketing. But, I think people who only follow sports that have virtually zero international footprint (RL), or zero international footprint (AFL), fail to appreciate the number of “businesses” that need to be funded when a sport has a strong international presence (Football, Basketball, Field Hockey).

      The FFA has to fund the marketing for: ALeague, WLeague, NYL, National Teams (Senior Men, Senior Women, Olympic Men, u20 men, u17 men, u20 women, u17 women), FFA Cup, MiniRoos.

      I might have missed some stuff.

      Anyway, the biggest positive for me is that, despite the lack of marketing, people like yourself – who admit they aren’t football fans – actually take the time to write about football.

      I cannot imagine any football writer, who has no interest in other sports, taking the time to write about the AFLW Grand Final, or the Field Hockey Women’s Grand Final, or the Netball Grand Final.

      Football writers have so much content to keep them occupied in Australia. Then, there is the content from overseas – clubs, national teams, tournaments, even friendlies.

    • February 16th 2018 @ 11:12am
      chris said | February 16th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

      Mary I have seen lots of advertising around the W-League GF so not sure how you missed it.
      You do realise that FFA get virtually no freebies from the main stream media?

    • February 16th 2018 @ 12:00pm
      Nemesis said | February 16th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

      How’s this for marketing? Just in cast it doesn’t register on your Twitter feed, Mary, I’ve copied the weblink for you.

      Sam Kerr is the new face of Nike in their launch of the Mercurial Superfly 360 boots

      For the first time since Kewell’s Adidas World Cup campaign in 2006 — alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Leo Messi and David Beckham — an Australian footballer was involved in of a global launch for one of the world’s apparel giants.

      Full story:

      • Roar Rookie

        February 16th 2018 @ 1:43pm
        Stevo said | February 16th 2018 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

        Thanks for the link. Wow, our Sam is hitting the big time and good on her. She’s an articulate and grounded person who’s doing us all proud 🙂

      • February 16th 2018 @ 1:44pm
        Onside said | February 16th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

        That’s fantastic .thanks for the link.

    • Roar Guru

      February 16th 2018 @ 1:29pm
      Cousin Claudio said | February 16th 2018 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

      Come on girls.
      Need you to put some pride back in the Sydney FC jersey after the unfortunate Valentine’s Day Massacre by the Bluewings.

      You’ve been the better team all season, so lets take home another trophy for the Cabinet.

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