Central Coast Mariners welcome W-League expansion news and confirm the club's intention to enter the competition in 2022/23

The Central Coast Mariners welcome the great news today from the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) in regards to the expansion of the W-League. Central Coast Mariners can confirm that they will today submit a letter of intent to the APL to enter a team into the 2022/23 W-League season.

In line with the strategic plans for the APL, the Central Coast Mariners are determined to enter the W-League competition and complete the pathway to professional football for aspiring females on the Coast and in our Academy teams. This is a very important and logical step for the club to provide a completeness of brand and ensure that football remains the number one sport on the Central Coast, from grassroots through to the professional game in men’s and now women’s.

In addition, the Central Coast Mariners working with Central Coast Council have submitted an application to FIFA for the Central Coast to be nominated as a base camp for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in 2023. The Mariners inclusion into the W-League is an important step to ensure that the required infrastructure requirements are reached, and that the impact of the Women’s World Cup will hold long term benefits, leaving a great legacy for female sport on the Coast. If successful, the Central Coast region will also benefit, giving the community unique exposure to what will be the biggest football event ever held in Australia.

Furthermore, the additional home matches that the W-League will bring to the Central Coast provides not only more exciting match days for families to attend, but it will also aid job and economic growth for the region and become the 2nd team to represent the Central Coast on the national stage.

Shaun Mielekamp, Central Coast Mariners Chief Executive Officer, spoke of his excitement along with the planning and undertaking that it has taken to reach this point.

“This is tremendous news and whilst we are excited, we cannot get complacent, as there lies a lot of work ahead of us, hence, we are looking at entering the competition in the 2022/23 season.”

“The time is finally here after years of hard work, dedication, research and progress for the women’s game on the Coast. The opportunity is now right there for us to take advantage of, and the barriers of our past proposals no longer exist.”

“Our intention to enter the 2022/23 competition is also to ascertain that we have prepared in the correct way, to confirm all the boxes are ticked, stakeholders are consulted, and funding and resources are secured, ensuring that this is not a rushed process. We are adamant that our W-League team will require and use all the resources provided to them, in parity to our A-League team and the standards we uphold for them. This will take time as we will have to secure and confirm the correct training and playing facilities, as well as securing significant sponsorship and funding to ensure that the team are prepared and highly competitive in the W-League” Mielekamp added.

“Making this formal submission of intent is a huge step for the club and I look forward to working extremely closely with the APL to ensure that our strategy and submission to enter into the W-League is one of the most exciting and successful expansions ever made by the league”

“I know our community is ready and this is also fundamental to the long-term security and stability of the club on the Central Coast. The APL will not take the decision lightly and the reality is, we will have to prove without any doubt to them and the entire football community that we have the funds, resources, talent and infrastructure to deliver this. The whole country will be watching, and it is time to unlock and deliver the pathway for talented young female footballers on the Coast which previously was non-existent.”

The Central Coast Mariners will submit a completed strategy and plan for the APL to consider by the end of the year and seek to ensure that it is fully endorsed by the PFA to align and enhance the growth of the game in this country.