By Chris Wright
Putting a fresh spin on the old “men versus boys” adage, an Australian professional women’s side have announced that they are joining a boys Under-15′s league to help keep their players sharp over the course of the Australian W-League’s inordinately long off-season.
Due to the dearth of professional clubs, the eight-team W-League (i.e, the female equivalent of the A-League) only runs for three months of the year and Roar’s head coach, Belinda Wilson, is taking positive steps to keep her players from losing their edge – signing them up to compete in the Queensland’s U15 boys league.
Roar only lost out in the W-League Grand Final against Melbourne Victory last weekend, but their U15 campaign is already scheduled to begin this coming Saturday with a inaugural league game against South West Thunder.
“We wanted to put them in a competition where physically they are able to compete and also able to play football and develop as players,” head coach Wilson is quoted as saying in the Guardian.
“They are probably a lot stronger than us in the physicality, so we have to adapt our game so we can be competitive in that environment.
“In terms of footballing sense, the girls are a little bit more game aware and have more ability from a tactical point of view, because of the level they’ve been playing.”
Apparently pre-season friendly fixtures against boys’ teams are a fairly common occurrence in the Australian women’s game – though actually joining a youth league is, so far as we know, unprecedented.