In a historic move for women’s football on the north and mid-north coasts, an inter-regional women’s first division competition will start this weekend.
Coastal League One (CLO) Women involves four teams from the Coffs Coast – Boambee, Coffs United, Sawtell and Urunga – and one from the Mid-Coast – Macleay Valley Rangers.
The five-team competition is first grade only. It differs from Coastal Premier League Men, which involves both first and reserve grade sides.
CLO Women starts in 2022 with five teams, and several more teams from both the north and mid-north coasts will join in 2023.
The first matches will be played this Sunday evening at the Coffs Football Centre Synthetics, with Sawtell taking on Macleay Valley Rangers (5.15 pm) and Coffs United taking on Urunga (7.15 pm). Boambee has a round one bye.
Between now and the beginning of September, matches will be played over 20 weekends with 16 match days for each team. There will be a two-week final series in September, with the grand final at the C.ex Coffs International Stadium on 17 September 2022.
The competition is administered by North Coast Football and plays to NCF’s rules. Information about CLO Women will be posted on the Coastal Football Leagues website – www.coastal.football – and its social media channels – www.fb.com/coastalfootballleagues, www.twitter.com/cflaustralia and www.instagram.com/coastalfootballleagues .
Women’s football is growing in popularity, with around a third of the football playing population in the area being female.
The number of females in the game is expected to increase in the years ahead with the rise of the Matildas and the staging of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
In a further boost to the female game, both Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie are shortlisted as potential base camps for visiting teams for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Statements by Andrew Woodward, General Manager, North Coast Football
There’s a strong desire for higher-level competition for females in the area. Players tell us they want more variety and better competition.
With the new Coastal League One Women, we will be able to offer competitive top-level football for females and local park football for those who want to play socially.
In the men’s competition, the Coastal Premier League has been an instant success, and we expect the same for Coastal League One Women’s.
We expect the new competition will increase public, media and sponsor interest in the women’s game.