As captain Teresa Polias works to help her team claim their first Women’s NSWPL trophy, Sydney Olympic have progressed their efforts to help expand the reach of Australian Women’s Football across the country.
“We’ve partnered with Special K for our women’s program again, a very strong brand, a brand that sends around a message of empowering females and supporting women’s sport,” said Management CEO John Boulous at the offical season launch event on Monday.
Women’s team captain Teresa Polias spoke at the season launch about the expansion of women’s football in Australia, expressing that it’s growing more than ever despite the recent departure of Matilda stars.
“I know there’s a bit of panic about the exodus of Matildas to overseas, but when I see players like Taylor Ray, Julia Vignes, this is their chance to now become those players and make a name for themselves here. In a way I sort of had mixed feelings, I was worried in a sense, but this is an opportunity for those girls.
“So I think the future is bright, over here the context is a bit different, we’re competing with a number of other sports and a smaller populated country, so there are complications here unlike in Europe where football is the main game.
“I think if the governing bodies do the right thing then I honestly think that the Matildas can get up to the number one spot.”
Teresa Polias, like the many other Australian women’s football players, is involved with NSWPL football as well as the W-League, while also working as a teacher of a year 5 and 6 class. Teresa believes that time management when competing in women’s football is a strong focus, also saying she is thankful for her family and friends support of her passion.
“Sydney Olympic has such a rich history, and now us as women we get to create our own legacy and that’s really exciting…. because of that history it’s got such a great culture and that’s something about our team least season that made us successful as well.”
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The Sydney Olympic women’s team have set their eyes on the NSWPL trophy after a stunning debut season in the first division last year, finishing second at the end of the 2019 season.
Women’s head coach George Beltsos spoke with Andy Paschalidis at the season launch about the positive results achieved last season, hoping to replicate them again this year.
“(Last season) we came into the top league, our expectations were just to make sure we don’t get relegated so we certainly exceeded expectations…. we’ve made good recruitments of course and with John’s help and Damon it was made possible to achieve more than we thought we could,” said Beltsos.
“It’s gonna be a pretty tough competition, there are a lot of teams to beat, but I think we’re one of the teams to beat as well. So I think there is going to be about 4, 5 or 6 clubs fighting for the top spot.”
“Results in pre-season every week have gotten better and better and they’re playing some good football.”
George Beltsos revealed his happiness over the expansion of women’s football in recent years, drastically increasing in size and performance level.
“Over the past 4 or 5 years, what I’ve seen in women’s football across the whole world, it’s just boomed. It’s gone from amateur to professional. In England it’s all professional now…. Even in Australia the level of football that women are playing now is much better than it was 4 or 5 years ago. It’s all happened just so quick I’d say,” Beltsos said.
“All I see is more young girls are playing football, and if you check it out, I’m think more women are playing football than any other sport.”
Paschalidis also referenced the phenomenal growth of women’s football in recent years, recalling years ago that his daughter was forced to play every year up to U12’s in the boys team, due to a women’s team not existing.
“Over there (The USA) they have over seven and a half million registered female footballers. It’s huge and it’s brilliant to see increased numbers in our sport because the with the way Women’s AFL and Women’s Rugby League grow, who have massive amounts of publicity, we’re lucky we have one of the world’s best team of Matildas, it really puts the spotlight on women’s football,” Andy Paschalidis iterated.
The Sydney Olympic Women’s team will face APIA Leichardt FC at Lambert Park on Sunday March 8 at 5:30pm. Details can be found here: https://websites.sportstg.com/comp_info.cgi?c=1-10179-0-553552-0&a=FIXTURE