Women's sport is more than a gimmick, says W-League coach

Melbourne City W-League coach Joe Montemurro says he hopes the recent focus on women’s sport is for the right reasons.

Montemurro’s City side created history in 2015/16 by becoming the first W-League team to win all of their regular season games, claiming both the Premiership and Championship.

The past two years has seen a growth in the promotion of women’s football and women’s sport in general as other codes rush to put female teams on the pitch.

But Montemurro added this note of caution: "I’ve said this all along, I just hope people do it for the right reasons, they do it because elite sports people whether male or female deserve elite specialities and structures and competition.

“If they’re doing it from a token gesture point of view, because they want memberships or they think they’re going to get some more sponsorship revenue, then that’s not the right way to approach it.

“I hope they approach it because they genuinely believe females need elite programs and elite sporting structures to work their trade.

“The more the merrier, but I hope all this buzz around women’s sport is done for the right reasons and not because it’s just a token gesture.”

Montemurro is under no doubt his players have contributed to the increased interest in women's sport.

“I’m going to sound selfish, but the way we went about it at Melbourne City has really triggered a lot of this fashion in women’s sport,” he said.

“We did things in the right manner and the more teams we keep challenging on elite levels, the game will become better and the development will improve.”

As well as City going into the history books, the Matildas will look to continue their stunning form as they take to the field in the Olympics in August where they face Canada, Germany and Zimbabwe in the group stage.

The Australians went through the qualifying phase undefeated and once again turned heads in the football world.

With women’s football breaking both domestic and international records, Montemurro believes the success has helped spur the growing interest in women’s sport.

“Undoubtedly they’ve (Matildas and W-League) contributed,” he said.

“It’s a blessing to work with these amazing athletes, they’re incredible role models and it’s a privilege to be involved with these amazing people.”