|Founded||25 October 2008|
|Number of teams||9|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Current champions||Canberra United (2nd title)
|Current premiers||Perth Glory (1st title)
|Most championships||Brisbane Roar
Canberra United (2 titles)
|Most premierships||Brisbane Roar
Canberra United (2 titles)
The W-League is a semi-professional women's soccer league, run by Football Federation Australia (FFA). At the top of the Australia league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport. The W-League was established in 2008 and was composed of eight teams of which seven had an affiliation with an A-League clubs. The eighth team was a new entity based in Canberra. The league is currently contested by nine teams. The competition is known as the Westfield W-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Westfield Group.
Seasons typically run from November to February and include a 12-round regular season and an end-of-season finals series playoff tournament involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match. The winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed 'premier' and the winner of the grand final is 'champion'. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of four clubs have been crowned W-League Premiers and four clubs have been crowned W-League Champions. Since 2012, successful W-League clubs have gained qualification into the international competition, the International Women's Club Championship. The current premier is Perth Glory, who finished first in 2014. The current champion is Canberra United, who won the 2014 W-League Grand Final.
After Australia qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, head coach Tom Sermanni felt the establishment of a professional league was vital for continuing the development of players. Football Federation Australia established the league the following year. The W-League was initially composed of eight teams: Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory, and Sydney FC. Seven of the eight teams were affiliated with A-League clubs, and shared their names and colours to promote their brands. The eighth club was the Canberra-based Canberra United.
The W-League's inaugural season commenced on 25 October 2008, with Perth Glory hosting Sydney FC at Members Equity Stadium. After ten rounds, the regular season finished with Queensland Roar as the top-placed team, becoming the first W-League premiers, and advancing to the semi-finals along with the second-, third- and fourth-placed teams. Brisbane faced Canberra United in the 2009 W-League Grand Final, defeating them 2–0 to take the champions trophy.
When Western Sydney Wanderers joined the A-League for the 2012–13 season, they also entered a team into the W-League, returning the competition to eight teams. On 13 May 2015, Melbourne City were confirmed to compete in the W-League from the 2015–16 season.
The W-League regular season typically runs from November to February and consists of 12 rounds, with the highest ranked team winning the title of "Premiers". The top four teams in the regular season then advance to the knockout finals with the Champion determined by the victor of the Grand Final.
|Adelaide United||Adelaide, South Australia||Coopers Stadium||2008–09–present|
|Brisbane Roar||Brisbane, Queensland||Perry Park
Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
A.J. Kelly Park
|Canberra United||Canberra, ACT||McKellar Park||2008–09–present|
|Central Coast Mariners (defunct)||Gosford||Central Coast Stadium||2008–09–2009|
|Melbourne City||Melbourne, Victoria||CB Smith Reserve
|Melbourne Victory||Melbourne, Victoria||Lakeside Stadium (10,000)
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
|Newcastle Jets||Newcastle, New South Wales||Wanderers Oval||2008–09–present|
|Perth Glory||Perth, Western Australia||Ashfield Reserve||2008–09–present|
|Sydney FC||Sydney, New South Wales||Allianz Stadium||2008–09–present|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||Sydney, New South Wales||Marconi Stadium||2012–13–present|
Squad formation and salaries
A W-League squad has a minimum 20 players and a maximum of 26. Players typically receive a one-season contract, with many playing in international leagues during the W-League's off-season. Due to the W-League's season running during the off-season of several leagues around the world many foreign players (players from outside Australia that hold a temporary working-visa) have played for teams in the W-League. Many players from countries such as Canada, England, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and Wales have participated throughout the history of the league.
Since the inaugural W-League season, teams have officially receive a salary cap of A$150,000. However, the semi-professional nature of the competition means that player salaries are vastly different, with The Sydney Morning Herald reporting in 2012 that whilst players earn $10,000 in one team, in others they earn nothing. The lack of finance is particularly evident in clubs owned by their state football associations - Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets. In 2014, it was revealed that Sydney FC players were paid from $1,000 to $6,000, with one marquee player earning $70,000 funded by sponsorship. By comparison, the salary cap for teams in the corresponding men's competition, the A-League, was $1.5 million in its inaugural 2005–06 season and $2.55 million as of 2015.
From the inaugural season, the national public television network, ABC, had broadcast one match a week each. In November 2014, ABC announced a decision to cease broadcast of the league at the end of the 2014 season as part of widespread budget cuts. Ahead of the 2015–16 season, it was announced that pay-TV network Fox Sports would televise W-League matches. The ABC also rejoined the broadcasting arrangement ahead of the 2015–16 season, being entitled to air one live match of the round in conjunction with Fox Sports.
Primary venues currently used in the W-League:
|Burton Park||1,200||Adelaide United|
|The Shores||1,000||Adelaide United|
|Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre||49,000||Brisbane Roar|
|Perry Park||5,000||Brisbane Roar|
|A.J. Kelly Park||1,500||Brisbane Roar|
|McKellar Park||2,460||Canberra United|
|Deakin Stadium||1,500||Canberra United|
|Kingston Heath||5,000||Melbourne Victory|
|Broadmeadows Valley Park||5,000||Melbourne Victory|
|Etihad Stadium||53,347 (rectangular configuration)||Melbourne Victory|
|Lakeside Stadium||15,000||Melbourne Victory|
|Wanderers Oval||2,000||Newcastle Jets|
|Adamstown Oval||2,000||Newcastle Jets|
|Ashfield Reserve ||2,000||Perth Glory|
|nib Stadium||20,500||Perth Glory|
|Allianz Stadium||45,500||Sydney FC|
|WIN Stadium||18,484||Sydney FC|
|WIN Jubilee Oval||22,000||Sydney FC|
|Marconi Stadium||11,500||Western Sydney Wanderers|
|Campbelltown Stadium||21,000||Western Sydney Wanderers|
|Centrebet Stadium||22,500||Western Sydney Wanderers|
Other venues previously used by W-League clubs include:
|Bluetongue Stadium||20,119||Central Coast Mariners|
|Canberra Stadium||25,011||Used by Central Coast Mariners in the 2009 season during round 5.1|
|Leichhardt Oval||22,000||Used by Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners in the 2009 season during round 8 as a double-header.2|-|
|Wembley Park||2,500||Used by Melbourne Victory in the 2013-2014 season.|
1Central Coast Mariners played this fixture as a home game against Canberra United. 2Sydney FC played this fixture as a home game against Perth Glory. It is also a 'curtain raiser' to the second game, to be played by the Mariners. Central Coast Mariners played this fixture as a home game against Melbourne Victory.
|Season||Premiers (regular season winners)||Champions (Grand Final winners)|
|2008–09||Queensland Roar||Queensland Roar|
|2009||Sydney FC||Sydney FC|
|2010–11||Sydney FC||Brisbane Roar|
|2011–12||Canberra United||Canberra United|
|2012–13||Brisbane Roar||Sydney FC|
|2013–14||Canberra United||Melbourne Victory|
|2014||Perth Glory||Canberra United|
Queensland Roar changed their name to Brisbane Roar for the 2009 season.
|5||Lisa De Vanna||30|
The league presents annual awards for outstanding achievements including:
- Julie Dolan Medal
- Young Player of the Year
- Player's Player of the Year
- Goalkeeper of the Year (Golden Glove)
- Golden Boot
- Goal of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Referee of the Year
- Fair Play Award
- W-League (Australia) all-time records
- Women's soccer in Australia
- Australia women's national soccer team
- Women’s National Soccer League (WNSL) - defunct Australian women's national league
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- "W-League returns to ABC TV in partnership with FFA and Fox Sports". ABC News. 15 September 2015.
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