Westfield Matildas kick off Rio preparations

Federal Sports Minister Sussan Ley and Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop today joined the Westfield Matildas at the AIS in Canberra to formally kick off preparations for the Rio Games.

The occasion also marked the launch of FFA's Women Football Development Guide, which aims to help Australia's 2,300 community clubs promote women's football and nurture the next generation of female players.

At the first of five pre-Games camps at the AIS, Minister Ley announced that Matildas players would share $330,000 in athlete support payments from latest round of Federal Government grants.

“It has been incredible to watch the rapid rise of the Matildas up world rankings over the past 12 months, but as the Sports and Health Minister it has been equally pleasing to see the soaring growth in female football participation at all levels,” Minister Ley said.

Matildas players celebrate a goal during the Olympic qualifiers in Japan.

"The Australian Government is committed to increasing female sports participation at all levels and it’s tremendous to see female football flourishing from our young MiniRoos through to our elite Matildas.”

FFA CEO David Gallop thanked Minister Ley for the funding from the Australian Sports Commission to hold five pre-Olympic camps at the AIS. 

"Alen Stajcic and the Matildas players are going to Rio with a firm target to win a medal," said Gallop. "The funding enables the Matildas to use the world-class facilities at the AIS to give the squad a very solid preparation."

Gallop pointed to the new Women's Football Development Guide as evidence that FFA's long term strategies were being implemented.

"Our objective is to continually grow the female participation base until we see an even split between male and female players," said Gallop.

"The new Guide provides advice and strategies for Australia’s community clubs on recruiting and retaining female participants, coaches, administrators and officials. It's a very good step towards bringing our strategy to life."

The Women's Football Development Guide is available free of charge online at  www.footballaustralia.com.au

Westfield Matildas – AIS camp dates

1-4 May
16-19 May
13-16 June
20-24 June
27 June - 2 July

Westfield Matildas squad for training camp 1-4 May

Teigen Allen, Tara Andrews, Mackenzie Arnold (gk), Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Cooper, Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna, Casey Dumont (gk), Caitlin Foord, Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Munoz, Clare Polkinghorne, Georgia Yeoman-Dale