Female football is expanding fast after Hills United, the representative arm of Hills Football, was granted a full licence for the first time by Football NSW.
This has opened up a full female pathway in the Hills starting with the Girls Skill Acquisition Program for U10s, through to senior first-grade football.
This provides a clear and accessible pathway for female footballers from all Hills Football clubs, according to the association’s Member Services & Administration Officer Charlotte Ercil.
And Hills United is leading the way in the Football NSW League One Women’s competition, with nine straight wins in their debut season.
“Thirteen of our 20 member clubs host teams in female-only competitions,” Ercil said. “The remaining seven clubs host mixed teams which may include female-only teams they’ve entered into these mixed competitions.
“We offer a full complement of programs and competitions for females within the Hills area. Our female-only competitions start from the U9s upto the over 30s age groups. Clubs also enter female-only teams into the mixed competitions (U7/8).”
In addition to her support for HF’s member clubs, Ercil’s purview covers the diversity and inclusion portfolio, including the All Abilities programs, female football, Walking Football, and more.
She said the local governing body has a wide range of playing options for females of all ages, making it easier to attract new players. The female-only competitions on Sundays start with the U9s, with future plans for similar tournaments for the lower age groups.
“Our senior women’s competitions (all age and over 30s) are thriving albeit some competition changes for the 2022 season. The women’s Premier League is in its second year and runs alongside the men’s competition,” Ercil said.
“All Hills Football clubs are active in promoting female football with some offering a team or teams in all female-only age groups and competitions. Our clubs are also great advocates in promoting our female specific initiatives such as the Hills Football Female Coaches network, the soon-to-be Female Referee Network, Female Football Week initiatives, and other social and competitive programs to cater to our female football family.
“Clubs have been working hard during pre-season hosting their own female only Come and Try Days. These were to generate interest from females in the broader community and we encouraged the ‘bring a friend’ element.
“We launched a Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee in 2021 with members working on strategies related to various topics and areas. The growth of female football in terms of players, coaches, referees, and administrators is what we work on.”
The season kicked off in early April.
Meanwhile, Football NSW will be celebrating the popular Female Football Week from May 6-15.