There Will Be No More W-League As APL Announces Rebrand For A-Leagues - Women's Health

There Will Be No More W-League As APL Announces Rebrand For A-Leagues

Previously known as the W-League, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has announced it will now become the A-League Women.

by | Sep 30, 2021

Instagram/wleague

We’re a football-obsessed nation here in Australia, and you need only look to the Matildas to see a team that is comprised of some of the greatest talents in the game. Now, it’s been announced that Australia’s top men’s and women’s football tournaments will both be known as the A-League as part of the national rebranding of sports, scrapping the term W-League. 

The new A-League brand champions inclusivity as it integrates men, women and youth leagues under one flag. The three tournaments will be known as A-League Men, A-League Women, and A-League Youth. Australia could become the first country in the world to have a combined title for men’s and women’s football teams, and the APL is set to introduce a competition for the best performers across both the W-League and A-League next season. 

The announcement of a newly-titled A-League Women is welcome news, particularly with a Women’s World Cup on home soil fast approaching. Managing director of the APL Danny Townsend believes such changes are a crucial step in the right direction for the women’s game in Australia. “This is just the beginning of a sustained investment programme in women’s football – we announced unbundling just 8-months ago, and are already bringing more games, more players, better broadcast, improved employment conditions and enhanced footballing pathways,” said Townsend. “We want to unleash football’s potential in Australia and this is a significant step forward in delivering the future that the game deserves.”

It’a sentiment that has been echoed by Kate Gill, co-CEO of Professional Footballers Australia, who said in a statement: “The expansion of the competition is an important step forward and illustrates the confidence in the women’s game and the solid foundations that have been built.”

Gill added, “The players have been vocal advocates for the growth of the competition and positively APL’s women’s football strategy will not only provide additional employment opportunities and match minutes for our talented players but delivers a healthy boost to the W-League in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.” The next few weeks will see the final details around the W-League expansion be confirmed. 

As for the competition for best performers across both leagues, the “Club Championship” will combine points of both the men’s and women’s teams of A-League clubs with a trophy awarded at the end of the season. “I am really excited about what the Club Championship can do for football in this country,” said Townsend. “It’s an opportunity for us to do what no other code has done and that’s to place the same level of importance of three points in the women’s game as you do with the mens.”

He added, “We think by adding silverware to crown the best professional football club in Australia is a really important step to ensuring the women’s game is viewed in parity with the men.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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