PFA renews calls for minimum medical standards in W-League

There are renewed calls for minimum medical standards for Australian women’s topflight football following the release of the 2014 PFA W-League Injury Report.

A total of 29 injuries were recorded throughout the last W-League season, with 75 games missed due to injury, and 21 per cent of injuries being knee related.

Despite the drop in injuries and games missed compared with the previous campaign, the report again highlighted the link between on-field success and injury rates.

Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Chief Executive Adam Vivian announced the findings of the report on Wednesday.

“As illustrated in last season’s inaugural PFA W-League Injury Report, there is a strong correlation between on-field success and injury, with the table-topping Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory both ranking in the top three for the least amount of injuries and games missed due to injury,” Vivian said.

“While the findings of the report are welcomed, the incidence of knee injuries remains a serious concern, as does the rise in concussion.”

Following extensive collaboration with FIFPro Chief Medical Officer Doctor Vincent Gouttebarge the PFA agreed the W-League Minimum Medical Standards must include:

•             Medical testing, prior to the commencement of each season

•             All clubs having certified specialist sports physician

•             Detailed player medical records being kept by clubs

•             The right for players to seek to a second medical opinion

•             Registered physiotherapist available at each club prior to and after training and matches, and

•             All club trainers holding a Sport Trainer Level 2 from Sports Medicine Australia and or a tertiary qualification in Sports Conditioning.

Vivian added: “These measures were implemented in the A-League in 2011 and have proven to be effective in reducing the incidence of injury and games missed. It follows that they would be equally effective if adopted in the W-League.”

Click here for the full 2014 PFA W-League Injury Report