In a significant boost for Victorian football, 10 Victorian players have been selected for international duty across two youth Matildas teams.
Six Victorian players have been selected for the Young Matildas (U20) who will compete in the AFF Women's Championship in Myanmar, while four Victorians have been invited to attend Junior Matildas (U17) camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
The call-ups come off the back of Victoria finishing second at the FFA National Training Centre (NTC) Challenge in Canberra in June and winning both the 13-and-under and 15-and-under divisions at last week's Westfield National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour.
FFV NTC players MelindaJ Barbieri and Ashleigh Lefevre have been picked for the Young Matildas along with PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria Women's leading scorer Melina Ayres (Alamein FC) and defenders Annabel Martin (Geelong Galaxy United FC) and Olivia Ellis (FC Bulleen Lions). Senior NTC's Hayley Richmond was later called in as an injury replacement.
FFV NTC players Sofia Sakalis, Isabella Sewards and Kyra Cooney-Cross were invited to Junior Matildas camp along with Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (Kingston City FC). Sakalis, Cooney-Cross and Galabadaarachchi were retained for the final touring squad which will play at the AFC U-16 Women's Championship Qualifiers in Vietnam in August.
FFV Interim CEO Cathy Acocks said the international selections were reflective of Victoria's commitment to Talented Player Pathways and strong culture of supporting female football.
"Victorian women's and girls' football entered a new era this year with the introduction of women's PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria competition," Ms Acocks said.
"These international selections are just the beginning of the sustainable, long-term Talented Player Pathway that FFV's NTC, Talented Player Program and PS4 NPLW is providing for Victorian women's and girls' footballers.
"I would like to congratulate these nine young women on being selected to represent their country. With MiniRoos Girls participation up 12 per-cent and junior girls up seven per-cent in Victoria this year it is exciting that our rapidly growing female football population have role models to look up to."
FFV Technical Director David Smith said the selections were the result of a two year project to address and improve Victoria's coaching and talent development in female football.
"Victoria's programs have improved because of the competition structure in place and the support of NPL and NPL Women's clubs," Smith said.
"The intensity levels at training in Victoria are now at a standard that helps our players to be recognised at a national level."
To see all the exciting things happening to promote and support women's and girls' football in Victoria visit the Women in Football Network website and search hashtag #FFWomenInFootball in Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.