Sam Kerr’s nomination for the Don Bradman Award at the 2018 Sports Hall of Fame dinner is another well-deserved honour for one of Australia’s most accomplished athletes, and a reminder that we should be doing all we can to support our world-beating Westfield Matildas, according to Football Federation Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos.
“To be recognised alongside record-breaking cricketer Ellyse Perry, Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and of course, Kurt Fearnley, who has competed at five Olympics, won two marathon gold medals and another at 5000 metres, shows the standout athlete Sam Kerr has become,” Mr Filopoulos said
“Coming off the back of her recent naming as MVP in the USA league, and at home in the W-League, and her shortlisting as the first Australian woman nominated for the Ballon d'Or, this is further recognition of the year Kerr’s had, both for her country and respective club teams, in Australia and abroad,” Mr Filopoulos said.
“Sam Kerr’s Matildas has fast become one of this country’s most successful and loved national sporting teams, but at the moment the team has no home base for training, development, recruitment and home matches,” he said.
“Many of us want to see more of Sam Kerr and the Matildas, and it's clear the best way for that to happen is to give the team a home base – and what better place than Victoria, the sporting capital of Australia?
“We know football is growing significantly at the local level for girls and women across the state. Nearly 1,400 more girls played local football across the state this season than last season. We need to ensure the next generation of Matildas have a pathway and a development centre to call home,” he said.
Mr Filopoulos said FFV had presented opportunities for state government consideration for a proposed home base and upgraded facilities to accommodate the growth that women’s football is experiencing and will continue to experience.
“Working hand-in-hand with government, we can make the Matildas' home base Victoria, strengthen the long-term future of the women’s game, and ensure all Victorians get to see more of Sam Kerr and her teammates."