Matildas to 'benefit from W-League pay rise'

The Matildas prepare for Brazil next week.
The Matildas prepare for Brazil next week. DAVID MOIR

THE revolutionary pay deal that promises to more than double the salaries of players in the W-League could play a major role in the Matildas' pursuit of silverware, it has been claimed.

After details were announced of a new collective bargaining agreement for the W-League and Matildas, new research shows how allowing women to stay in football longer will help the Matildas compete at the top level.

Under the new deal, players in the W-League will get a minimum payment of $10,000, while the highest earning Australian female professionals are expected to make some $130,000 a year.

That figure will help to alleviate the pressures that drive women out of the sport early, according to the players union (PFA) - a key factor in the explicit aim of winning a World Cup or Olympics.

According to PFA research, the average age of retirement in the W-League is around 25 - but the average of players in the finalists of the last World Cup and Olympics was around 28-29.

Former Matilda Kathryn Gill - now player relations executive at the PFA - said the experience and knowledge that players would bring to the national team if able to play on closer to 30 would be invaluable against the best sides in the world.

"The main reasons players retire when they do currently are the financial pressure, the lack of career options and opportunity to start a family," Gill said.

"These are all stress points that tend to mean women leave the game at a point of around 25 on average in Australia.

"That's not even at your prime, it's barely approaching it - and certainly not getting into the twilight years of a career.

"Lifting the age at which players quit will be hugely beneficial for the Matildas, because players domestically will not just be renumerated better but generally supported.

"It means that young girls now can legitimately aim for a long career with say a Perth Glory or a Canberra United.

"Having those protections allows them to plan for the future. It also means we have a much better chance of winning a World Cup, which is something we all aspire to."

Topics:  matildas w-league

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