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Record numbers help UEFA Women’s EURO raise bar

April 04, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, World Football

Monday 7 August 2017

The interest generated by UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 has set new high-water marks in terms of spectators, TV viewers and online users.

Netherlands players celebrate
©AFP/Getty Images
Whether it was on TV, online or at the stadium, UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 set new benchmarks as fans followed the tournament in record numbers.

Official UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 Best Eleven

The 2017 edition was the most watched in history, surpassing the 2013 audience by more than 50 million.

Sunday’s final was the highest sports programme audience of the year to date in the Netherlands, watched by an average of 4.1m viewers (83% share); there was a global audience of 13m+.
Visits to the UEFA Women’s EURO section on and the new women’s football app over the course of the tournament totalled 4,011,534. The 2013 total for the whole tournament was 1.5 million.
Social media
The official tournament social media platforms generated 550K+ interactions while there were 4.4m+ video views on the #WEURO2017 Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The Together #WePlayStrong campaign triggered 82K+ interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; the national association interactions topped 16m.
The total tournament attendance of 240,045 surpassed the record set in 2013 of 216,888. Three of the top six single-match Women’s EURO record attendances took place over the last month.

Netherlands are the first Women’s EURO hosts to sell out all their matches. The six games were watched by a total of 110,897.

Sam Kerr powers Matildas to 4-2 win over Japan at Tournament of Nations

March 07, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, WA on the world stage


Australian football star Sam Kerr has continued her rise with a maiden international hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Japan in the Tournament Of Nations.

After opening their tournament with a drought-breaking win over reigning world champions the United States, the Matildas backed it up by thumping the runners-up from the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Japan had started stronger in San Diego, when Mina Tanaka slotted from a corner in the sixth minute.

It did not take long for the Aussies to respond, doing so via a close-range goal from Kerr’s prolific right foot.

Her second came five minutes later after she picked the pocket of Riho Sakamoto outside the 18-yard box and gave Australia the lead with a 16th-minute strike.

Then came the piece de resistance to cap off her first-half hat-trick.

After a long clearing kick by the Matildas defence, the 23-year-old used her athleticism to nod a high-bouncing ball over Japanese defender Nana Ichise on the halfway line and chased through with time winding down in the first half.

My conversation with @samkerr1 before the game today..
Me: “are you going to score today ?”
Sam: “yeh 3 haha!” No words, freak! ???‍♀️???

She dribbled the rest of the way with Sakamoto on her hammer, before firing a shot into the feet of goalkeeper Sakiko Ikeda.

But Kerr stayed alert and gathered the rebound before calmly nailing her second shot and running off into a slick somersault/back flip celebration that has become something of a trademark for the West Australian, who has made a name for herself with Sky Blue FC in US National Women’s Soccer League.

Emily van Egmond added the Matildas’ fourth in the 62nd minute before substitute Yuka Momiki ensured Japan ended the game the same way they started, with a 93rd-minute goal.

Next up for the Matildas is a showdown with world number eight Brazil in Los Angeles on Friday.

Australia — currently seventh in the world on the FIFA rankings — is set for a big jump, especially if it can complete a clean sweep of the tournament.

Tournament of Nations Promotion Video USA July 2017

March 07, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, WA on the world stage

Young Matildas July 2017

March 07, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media

Young Matildas Match Schedule
(all matches to be played at the AIS on Field 2)
Canada v USA
Thursday 6 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST
Young Matildas v Canada
Saturday 8 July 2017
Kick-Off: 10.00am AEST
Young Matildas v USA
Monday 10 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST
Young Matildas v USA
Wednesday 12 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST

The Young Matildas will play three international matches against high calibre female football nations Canada and the USA at the AIS in Canberra from 6-12 July 2017.

The matches, which will see the Young Matildas take on Canada followed by two encounters against the USA, will officially launch the squad’s preparations for the AFC U-19 Women’s Championships 2017 campaign coming up in October, the tournament which doubles as qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018 in France.

“Being able to have teams of the quality of Canada and the USA here is extremely beneficial. International competition for all junior teams is something that we’re starved of, so for us to get the opportunity to play against two powerhouses like Canada and America is invaluable for our players,” said Young Matildas Head Coach Gary van Egmond.

“It will give us a really good eye opener on what this level is all about and it’s good for us from the perspective of assessing and looking to see how we finalise the squad ahead of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championships in October.”

The 23-player squad selected by van Egmond includes capped Westfield Matildas duo Ellie Carpenter and Alex Chidiac along with a host of exciting young talent eager to impress.

Up to 36 players have been involved in Young Matildas camps since the beginning of the year, highlighting the increasing depth of talent coming through and the surging growth and interest in football among girls.

“From all of the players we’ve had come through Young Matildas camps from the beginning of the year, it’s getting to a stage of looking at who we think we can utilise when the time comes around for qualification, which is the most important thing,” said van Egmond.

“The squad has changed around a bit so that shows there are opportunities for players who are working hard and doing well. At the moment these 23 players have got a spot in the squad and it’s up to them to try and keep their position.”

“A mainstay of this squad has all had Westfield W-League experience so they’re quality players and it’s good to see the next generation coming through.”

With the USA’s senior women’s team currently the number one ranked team in the world in the world while Canada is fourth, the rare opportunity to host their respective U-20 teams in Australia is not lost on van Egmond.

“We’ve seen the way Canada and the USA’s senior women’s teams play and I don’t think that will be too dissimilar to how the younger ones go about their business,” said van Egmond.

“But from our perspective it’s more about concentrating on us and looking at how we can try and cause them problems by keeping to our principles.”

The three international matches are part of a Young Matildas training camp at the AIS which commenced today and will conclude on 13 July.

The Young Matildas’ first match is on Saturday 8 July against Canada following the opening match between the Canadians and the USA on 6 July. The matches are open to public and free of charge to enter.

Match Schedule (all matches to be played at the AIS on Field 2)

Canada v USA
Thursday 6 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST

Young Matildas v Canada
Saturday 8 July 2017
Kick-Off: 10.00am AEST

Young Matildas v USA
Monday 10 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST

Young Matildas v USA
Wednesday 12 July 2017
Kick-Off: 3.30pm AEST

Young Matildas squad for July internationals

Name Date of Birth Club
Melina AYRES 13/04/1999 South Melbourne FC
MelindaJ BARBIERI 16/05/2000 Calder United
Georgia BORIC (GK) 17/07/1998 Sydney University SFC
Hannah BOURKE 13/01/2000 Emerging Jets
Ellie CARPENTER 28/04/2000 Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Alex CHIDIAC 15/01/1999 Adelaide City
Teigan COLLISTER 25/01/2000 North Shore Mariners
Nickoletta FLANNERY 26/02/1999 Sydney University SFC
Annie GROVE (GK) 15/06/2001 Emerging Jets
Mackenzie HAWKESBY 13/04/2000 Sydney University SFC
Clare HUNT 12/03/1999 Sydney University SFC
Princess IBINI 31/01/2000 Football NSW Institute
Ashleigh LEFEVRE 27/08/1999 Football Federation Victoria NTC
Rachel LOWE 19/11/2000 Football NSW Institute
Grace MAHER 18/04/1999 Belconnen United
Annabel MARTIN 23/10/1998 Galaxy United
Jada MATHYSSEN-WHYMAN (GK) 24/10/1999 Football NSW Institute
Alyssa ROSE 15/10/2001 Football NSW Institute
Amy SAYER 30/11/2001 Football NSW Institute
Remy SIEMSEN 10/11/1999 Football NSW Institute
Kaitlyn TORPEY 17/03/2000 Brisbane Roar FC NPL
Cortnee VINE 19/04/1998 Heidelberg United
Clare WHEELER 14/01/1998 Sydney University SFC


The World Football Programme June 17, 2017

March 06, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, World Football


Studio hosts this Saturday: Penny Tanner and John O’Connell
Listeners are invited to text us on 0417622921
Streaming live from 10am on or via the myTuner Radio
App. Shows archive on for one
week or on our You Tube channel.

The Team catch up with:
Football West Development Officer Gordon Duus
International Referee, Mark Clattenburg
Producer, The Four Diegos Media, Ralph Barba
Women’s Football Advocate, Sarah Groube

Discussing the news this week:
Local competitions
A League and W League
Socceroos and World Cup Qualifiers
International competitions
Upcoming Matildas Tournaments
Australia’s bid for a Women’s World Cup


Inspirational Lady

March 06, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media

From refugee to UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 stardom …

The incredible story of Denmark’s Nadia Nadim

An equal playing field, atop a mountain

March 06, 2018 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, W League

EPF Initiative climb Mount Kilimanjaro (courtesy EPF Initiative)
  • EPF Initiative climb Mount Kilimanjaro for football match
  • Game played is highest ever recorded: at 5729 metres
  • Amazing feat is to raise awareness of gender inequality

Achieving gender equality is a daily challenge, and one which is embodied by many metaphors. ‘A long journey’, or ‘a balancing of the scales’. How about ‘climbing a mountain’? The Equal Playing Field (EPF) Initiative have taken this particular analogy and made it come to life. A brave group of women climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa’s highest peak, and played the highest altitude game of football in history.

“The playing field is not equal,”  EPF co-founder Lara Youngson said. “We want to use the climb to highlight the gender inequalities faced today by women in sport. Women have fewer opportunities to play sport, get paid less when they do, and don’t get the same coverage or respect in the media. I don’t want to be having this same discussion with my future children.”

The group’s Altitude Football project climbed the mountain looking to play their game in lung-busting thin air, all in the name of raising awareness for gender equality across the world. In the squad were senior internationals from across the world and a number of retired players who boasted hundreds of international caps between them.

On Saturday 24 June, the group of women from more than 20 countries took part in the full 90 minute match in the crater of Mount Kilimanjaro, at an altitude of 5729 metres. An exciting match, overseen by female FIFA accredited match officials, ultimately ended goalless, with both goalkeepers having outstanding games.

“We are elated to have made history,” Youngson said after the match. “The game, in thin air and on the back of a five hour climb was one of the hardest challenges of my life. However we had incredible team spirit, and it was a joy to play together.”

Despite the incredible feat, the climb is the first step on a longer path for the initiative.

“This is just the start,” EPF co-founder Erin Blankenship said. “We want every girl to have the opportunity to play this great game and we are excited about what the Equal Playing Field initiative achieves next. Up next is a series of football clinics in a number of countries over the next two years ahead of the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.”

These clinics and training camps will take place in 15 countries after the event has concluded, with the project hoping to reach as many as 1500 girls and women. They aim to provide young women with strong female role models, and a chance to play the game. The best outcome for the next generation would surely be that it will not take a feat of such extraordinary lengths to achieve true gender equality.

A World Record for the Highest Altitude Football game ever played is not where this story ends. Find out more at

— Equal Playing Field (@EPFinitiative) June 18, 2017

Meet (some of) the team
Lori Lindsey
, retired USA midfielder. Played in 2011 WWC, won London 2012 gold
Rachel Unitt, played at 2007 and 2011 WWCs, more than 100 caps for England
Hajar Abulfazl Afghanistan international, currently coaches U-19 team
Zahra Mahmoodi, captain of Afghanistan
Portia Modise, top goalscorer for South Africa (more than 100 goals)
Jacqui Hurford (née Melksham), Australian referee (took charge of 2011 WWC opening match)
Sandrine Dusang, almost 50 caps for France, five French league titles, UWCL title – plays for FCF Juvisy Essone
Petra Landers, played in the first ever German national women’s team
Esraa Awad, Egyptian women’s footballer of the year in 2010
Monica Gonzalez, 83 caps for Mexico
Sasha Andrews, Canada, played at 2003 WWC

Dodd loses FIFA spot

June 11, 2017 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media


Integrity in football campaigner Moya Dodd has lost her place on FIFA.

The former Matilda and leading global advocate for the women’s game was beaten in a ballot 27 to 17 by Bangladeshi, Mahfuza Ahkter, at the Asian Football Confederation Congress on Monday.

Dodd was a co-opted member of FIFA’s old executive committee and Australia’s most powerful voice on the governing body. Two other candidates for the protected seat for Asian women withdrew before the vote.

The 52-year-old was contesting a spot on the rebranded FIFA Council.

Prior to the ballot Dodd spoke about lingering corruption scandals infecting the sport’s global governance.

“We have to accept that it’s a work in progress to bring football to the level of integrity that we want it to be, and while we continue to have these controversies, our reputation will suffer,” Dodd told the Associated Press.

”The view of football from the fans, the stakeholders, the sponsors etc. will also suffer.”

On the subject of women’s football, she added: “I think we’ve seen how important it is for there to be a diversity of voices at the top table of FIFA.

“When I joined, there had only been one (woman on the executive committee), there were then three and two of us couldn’t vote and I’d think when you look back you’d have to say that we did make a difference.

“Our voices were heard, it was part of a change in culture in FIFA and you saw in the reforms (that) women in football was a key tenet of the reforms and it’s a key priority of FIFA going forward.”

Copyright © FourFourTwo Australia . All rights reserved.

Media MVP Award for WLeague

June 11, 2017 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media

Media MVP Award honours women’s football veteran Penny Tanner

Media MVP Award honours women’s football veteran Penny Tanner

TWG STAFF 30 April 2017

Since the 2013/14 W-League season, the writers and photographers of The Women’s Game have voted to recognise the top performers of the W-League.

This season TWG has expanded the voting pool to include several other members of the women’s football media – including The Football Sack and Fox Sports – who provided dedicated coverage of the W-League. The 16 media members cast their votes in the below categories:

Best Newcomer (player making their debut in the season)
Best Veteran (over 30 player)
Best Goalkeeper
Best Midfielder
Best Forward
Best Young Player (aged 20 or under)
Best Coach
Most Valuable Player

Celebrating pioneers

With the increased coverage of the W-League and the expanded membership for the awards, it provides an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge people who have covered women’s football in past couple of decades with few resources.

People like Janene Mar and TWG‘s Sarah Groube, both former Communications Managers at Australian Women’s Soccer Association. They wrote Matildas match reports from telephone calls across the ocean and faxed them to publications to spread the word and keep early records.

And people like Penny Tanner who – for the first time – we are pleased to recognise her efforts in the promotion and coverage of women’s football through the Penny Tanner Media MVP Award.

The Penny Tanner Media MVP Award will be awarded to the Most Valuable Player in the W-League as voted on by the media members.×525.jpg

Penny is a media veteran who has covered the women’s state league in Western Australia, the Matildas, Young Matildas and the W-League for 30 years on a volunteer basis.

Penny has been a registered player since her first club days with Melville Soccer Club in 1983. In that time frame she has played for the Western Australian state team in outdoor football as midfielder and futsal (goalkeeper). Penny trained with Matildas under Tom Sermanni in the mid 90s, was vice captain of the Australian Universities Team in 1993 – memorably going up against FIFA legend Mia Hamm – and won silver at 2014 Pan Pacific Masters Games. Still playing the game into her 40s, she returned to her youth club Melville taking out the 2016 first division Best and Fairest award.

Alongside her playing career, Penny’s first role in women’s football media was in 1987 when she became a regular on WA’s Saturday Morning Soccer Show hosted by Martyn Wells. From there she has tirelessly promoted the game through writing match reports, profiling promising new talent and established stars of the Australian game. Away from the pen and microphone, she has worked for the continual improvement of women’s football in WA as president and committee member of the Football West Women’s Standing Committee.

In 2000 Penny was a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal for contribution to Community (football) and she is a Life Member of Football West.

In 2005, she took over hosting duties on the re-named World Football Programme (formerly the Saturday Morning Soccer Show) and is still the host today.

This year Penny celebrates her 30th year in the media and is currently the longest running presenter of any football show in Australia. It seems fitting to name the MVP award after a truly great servant of women’s football.

The Penny Tanner Media MVP Award will be announced tomorrow alongside the Best Coach and Best Young Player awards.
2016/17 W-League Media Award Winners

Best Newcomer: Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC)
Best Veteran: Yukari Kinga (Canberra United)
Best Goalkeeper: Lydia Williams (Melbourne Victory)
Best Midfielder: Yukari Kinga (Canberra United)
Best Forward: Sam Kerr (Perth Glory)

Media Award Voters

Name Organisation Name Organisation
Michael Alesich The Women’s Game Lachy France The Women’s Game
Rachel Bach The Women’s Game Sarah Groube The Women’s Game
Angela Bacic The Women’s Game Anna Harrington Fox Sports
Shell Barratt The Women’s Game Christian Layland The Football Sack
Ellie Chapman The Women’s Game Ann Odong The Women’s Game
Christian-Wilkes The Women’s Game Teo Pellizzeri Radio Commentator
Cassandra Cocciolone The Women’s Game Winona Writer The Women’s Game
Isobel Cootes The Football Sack Nicole Westwood The Women’s Game
Cheryl Downes The Women’s Game Dominic Unwin The Football Sack

Lisa DeVanna signs for South Melbourne

May 24, 2017 By: Penny Category: Football in the Media, WA on the world stage

South Melbourne signs Matilda Lisa De Vanna, showing its intent to secure a W-League licence

SOUTH Melbourne has secured a coup in its bid for a W-League licence, with Matildas star Lisa De Vanna set to play for its Women’s National Premier League team. understands that De Vanna will play for the club — potentially as early as this weekend — while also potentially holding an off-field role.

The former NSL powerhouse has made it clear it will bid for both an A-League and a W-League licence, with De Vanna’s signature a clear statement of its intent to play a key role in the women’s game.

One of the best footballers Australia has ever produced, De Vanna has made 121 appearances for her country, scoring 40 goals.

De Vanna has previously played in the US, Sweden, England and has represented Australia at two Olympics (2004 and 2016) and three World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015), while she was a member of the Matildas side that won the 2010 Women’s Asian Cup.

For De Vanna, who last year spent part of the off-season with American side Orlando Pride, the move allows her to maintain fitness for her W-League and Matildas commitments without the travel and intensity of an overseas stint.

Lisa De Vanna celebrates a goal with teammate Caitlin Foord.
Lisa De Vanna celebrates a goal with teammate Caitlin Foord.Source: Getty Images

The Matilda has played for Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Canberra United over the past three seasons, though the latter was on a guest contract.

South Melbourne is understood to have heavily focused on improving and marketing its women’s program in recent months.

The club initially missed out on an NPLW licence when the competition was launched last year — despite having a long, successful history in the previous incarnation of the state league — but was granted a licence for this year’s league in October 2016.

Aside from De Vanna, several W-League players have committed their winter season to South Melbourne, as the club looks to claim the state league title.

Young Matilda and Melbourne City striker Melina Ayres was at the top of the recruiting list, while Melbourne Victory’s Alexandra Gummer — who has also played in England — and Alex Cheal also signed on.

Were South to claim a W-League licence, it could spell further trouble for Melbourne Victory, which claimed the wooden spoon twice since Melbourne City entered the competition.

A large proportion of Victorian talent has elected to sign with City over the past two years and a third Victorian side would further stretch the local talent pool.

While no dates have been set for W-League expansion, the current nine-team format, with a team having a bye each week, is less than ideal. One more team would see the league on par with the male equivalent, with 10 teams.

South was set to unveil De Vanna’s signature at its 2017 Jersey Night on Friday night.