Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League captain Teresa Polias and fellow Sky Blues and Westfield Matilda Amy Harrison were out in the community as part of the program, visiting AS Tanner Reserve in Monterey to watch Ramsgate RSL FC’s M4G in full swing.
Polias, a local junior, said the combination of International Women’s Day, Female Football Week, and the Matildas’ successful Olympic qualification was the culmination of the recognition and acknowledgement of their involvement in the sport.
“It is all the one package,” Polias said.
“It is great timing for such a huge event to happen [the Matildas Olympic qualification] and what the girls have achieved over there [in Japan] is amazing for the sport, for women, young girls and it couldn’t be any better.”
Polias, who first laced up her boots as a five-year-old for Rockdale Raiders, was humbled to give back to grass roots football, and said the sky is the limit on the back of the governing body’s investment in the female game.
“When I was a youngster there weren’t too many girls teams around and I had to prove myself amongst the boys and it was tough,” Polias said.
“It made me stronger and there were advantages but now I look around and see so many young girls playing and I am in awe.”
Ramsgate RSL FC President Leo Blanda hoped Polias and Harrison’s presence at the club’s MiniRoos for Girls program would be the catalyst for more girls to enrol in football.
“We are trying to get as many girls to turn up as possible and have now got 12 girls who are registered in the program,” Mr Blanda said.
“What we are going to do as a club is continue this program during the season and even though they are not playing on a Saturday morning they can come down and play during a week night.”
M4G consists of short, 45 minute sessions and is all about having fun, playing with your friends and learning new skills. The activities are game-based, non-competitive, and can be catered to players of all abilities.
“We have had a lot of parents come to us and say they want to enrol their girls to play but have always been hesitant to play against boys so having this program has done a lot for the club,” Mr Blanda continued.