FOz: Claire you have been both a player and administrator within the game of Futsal, what do you think of the standard of Women’s Futsal in Australia?
CW: The standard of Women’s Futsal in Australia is at a stage where there is greater development; the game is getting faster, more technical and skilful. In NSW the competition is obviously strong and the premier league is the benchmark of competitions and a breeding ground for talented female players who get to play against the best and train with the best every week. The premier league still has a few old style players but is dominated by new style players who are quick and apply pressure. ACT are getting stronger, they just won nationals so they are proving their presence and that having their own Canberra premier league is paying off. For QLD and Victoria it’s hard because they have no dominate league but still the ability to produce some quality players.
FOz: What are you most looking forward to about the WFAFL Cup?
CW: most looking forward to the best female players in the country coming together in one competition rather than us breaking up into different competitions; also the fact that we are representing our clubs.
FOz: How do you see Futsal currently in Australian, How important is it for a Women’s National to be created so there is a development pathway similar to the men’s?
CW: Futsal in Australia is becoming more popular especially after the recent World Cup. A national team is important for females. Just recently at FFA nationals they presented an all stars team who were given Australian jerseys and presented as a basis for a national women’s program, which is in progress of being developed. I was fortunate enough to be named in this squad. It is a rewarding feeling after giving so much to the sport that it could give something back to me. I think continuing this national campaign for women it will commit females further to the sport.
FOz: Campbelltown Quake play in Football NSW Futsal Premier League, which is regarded by many to be the best competition in Australia, how are the Girls going this year?
CW: after winning the premier league last year it’s safe to say we have a few teams ready to hunt us down but we are doing well. It’s a tight competition we have lost twice and are coming third. Our team this year is probably one of the best I’ve played in so I know if we can keep doing the simple things right we will make it come grand final day.
FOz: Who are the players in the Quake squad that fans should keep an eye out for during the WFAFL Cup?
CW: it’s hard to pick because at Quake we have a very talented squad. We have experience and then young raw talent. Of the youngsters Logan Garard is definitely the future of the game. She is quick and deceiving and has troubled many women’s sides. Touring with us is Mascot’s Doris Osman whose pace is hard to handle. In between the sticks is Mel McCauley who is in top form and her experience and communication skills and guidance make it a lot easier for us and a lot harder for teams to score. Also Zoeie Redman, she is solid and unpredictable.
FOz: Who do you think will be the team to beat the 2013 WFAFL Cup?
CW: Parramatta Blues will be a tough team to beat. We always seem to come up against each other in Finals and its always a close battle. Team from Brisbane and Victoria will also be tough as we have no knowledge on how these girls play and that will benefit them in this competition.
FOz: What is the biggest obstacle women’s futsal players face?
CW: biggest obstacle women’s players face is respect and equality in the game of governing bodies. A lot of female players want to play as much futsal as they can but can’t due to the association’s competiting with each other. If they all just came as one and looked at the sports benefit it would be so much better for the game.
FOz: We mentioned you worked as an Administrator (with Football NSW), how did you find that experience and has it changed your views on the sport?
CW: Working for Fooball NSW had its up’s and down’s. It is great to work behind the scenes and see how the sport is run and help fix issues to improve the sport but it was hard to find the balance between work and play. Being an administrator has not changed my views on the game. I have always loved the game but it has made me aware of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to get a competition up and running.
FOz: What’s one bit of advice you would offer junior girl Futsal players coming into the sport?
CW: my advice would be to play as much futsal as possible and take in as much knowledge from different coaches as you can and be the player you desire to be. Team players are much more respected then those who are individual so do what it takes to be a good team player.
FOz: Thanks for your time and Good Luck in the 2013 WFAFL Cup?
CW: thanks Futsaloz and to everyone who has contributed to getting this tournament together . We have numerous sponsors who have helped make this tour easy for us so thank you to the following.
Sydney helicopters, Captive Hair Studio, Elba kitchens, A&H fencing and landscaping, Polercise Penrith, Encore Prestige car hire, Bella arts graphic design, Halkin Group and Elite fight gym.