After the announcement of a women’s development squad at Western United was made at the beginning of July, the group finally joined together for the first session of the program.
Led by Calder United NPLW Head Coach Mark Torcaso, the group of leading women’s footballers in Melbourne’s west took to the training pitch for the first time with a mixture of ball work and fitness exercises.
Western United’s Women’s Football Integration Manager Amanda Stella praised the new program and said it would give female footballers the best chance to develop their game.
“The players look amazing, they’re here bright and early ready to take that step into developing their football in the hope of one day playing W-League for Western United,” she said.
“I think it’s just going to open up the opportunity to develop into better footballers and be ready for when Western United puts together their W-League team.
“These young girls are always looking for further opportunity to develop their football.”
Alongside Torcaso is Vince Ierardo as assistant coach, Harry Reading in a strength and conditioning role and Rob Mundy working with the goalkeepers.
Sessions over the coming weeks will see groups rotating through different exercises with each of the coaches, giving the players a different session from what they would normally take part in at club level.
Stella said the first day of the program was well received by the players and that the support from Western United for the women’s game would only help to grow the motivation and talent coming from the west.
“The fact that a current, successful, well put together A-League club is working in the female space in the anticipation to have a W-League licence, and taking those steps and looking to make their own players from the west, develop their own and give these players the opportunity - they’re very thankful,” she said.
“It would be wonderful to have a W-League licence for this season, but if it doesn’t happen for this season it will definitely happen for next, and we will be always ready when it does happen and have plenty of players that can step into those roles.”
The development program will run for the next 12 weeks in Maribyrnong, while Western United continue to work towards securing a W-League licence.