On the eve of the Westfield W-League 2017/18 Season, golden girl Sam Kerr says the Australian competition is just as good as America’s National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).
Kerr has come off a record-breaking season with Sky Blue FC in the NWSL, finishing as the leading scorer with 17 goals and named the competition’s best player.
Now Australian fans will get to see her outstanding talent in the Westfield W-League this season with Perth Glory.
“I've said it a million times and I'll say it again – the standards in the W-League are as high as the NWSL if not higher at some clubs,” Kerr told a huge throng of media at the Westfield W-League launch.
“I guess the only difference is that everyone is fulltime professional in the US league which obviously gives the quality a little bit of a boost.
“They're a new league so they still have a little bit of growing to do.
“In the ten years I've been in the W-League, I've been treated probably better than I have in the NWSL.
“I think FFA and the PFA together have worked really hard to make the standards in the W-League good and make the lifestyle for a footballer in Australia really nice.”
The Westfield W-League is entering its 10th season in 2017/18.
And Kerr says the attitude towards playing in the Australian competition have changed considerably around the world.
“A lot of people look to this league now and take it very seriously,” she said.
“In the first few years, people came out for a little bit of a holiday and thought it was an opportunity to come and see Australia.
“But I know a lot of the girls in the US now are fighting for spots – there are only four – so the quality is right there.
“I always say Melbourne City, Perth Glory and the teams that make the top four would compete in the NWSL, so I think we're right there,” Kerr said.
And as other sports such as AFL and cricket battle with football for the country's best young female athletes, Kerr sees a major point of difference for the round-ball code.
“We have one on AFL and other sports like that – we get to play worldwide and compete at Olympic Games and World Cups which other sports can't do.
“At the moment the league is in a really good place and the Matildas' success has helped that a lot.”