Sutherland Football aims to be a home base

Facilities:Sutherland Shire Football Association Vice President Laura Cowell at the Harrie Dening Football Centre at Kareela.Picture John Veage

Facilities:Sutherland Shire Football Association Vice President Laura Cowell at the Harrie Dening Football Centre at Kareela.Picture John Veage

In 2023 Australia and New Zealand will host the FIFA Women's World Cup, the first women's edition to feature 32 teams.

Sutherland Shire Football Association Vice President Laura Cowell was appointed as the area's #getonside2023 community bid champion. It was her job to help spread the word and gather support from the local clubs.

"Women's football is experiencing a time with unprecedented growth in its popularity, public profile, commercial interest and participation," Cowell said

16 teams will need to be based at training venues in Australia and 16 in New Zealand.

"At Sutherland Shire Football, we want to encourage one of the countries teams to base themselves here in Sutherland Shire and help promote the development of women's football."

Cowell met with Sutherland Council to seek formal support to try and meet the FIFA criteria and special requirements.

Two grass playing fields, a media room,20 km from an airport, good hotel accommodation, privacy considerations and many others.

The SSFA Harrie Denning football centre at Kirrawee does meet some of the requirements, but major lighting and drainage improvements are needed.

A FIFA representative was due to inspect the Sutherland Shire Football's facilities earlier this month, but NSW Covid travel restrictions have pushed it back with the inspectors still in QLD.

Cowell said to be honest, at the moment, it doesn't totally meet requirements, but it would be great for Sutherland Shire.

"We have 19,000 registered players and 61 available fields. Females make up 35 per cent of our numbers and this season we have 25 new women's teams.

"Our women's Premier League team plays here and it's not really up to standard," she said

"It's not all about the World Cup event. It's also about increasing female participation and awareness of the benefits of sport.

"Its definitely worth talking about, trying to meet the requirements and asking the questions "

This Women's World Cup will be the first in the Southern Hemisphere, the first in the Oceania Football Confederation and the first to feature 32 teams, up from 16.

The tournament will be a catalyst for the further development of women's football in NSW and Australia, creating a profound and enduring legacy for the women's game.

Over 65,000 females are registered in NSW and former Matildas midfielder and Sydney FC W-League captain Teresa Polias believes a women's World Cup on home soil would be the biggest thing to happen to women's football in the history of the sport in Australia.

Five Australian cities and four in New Zealand will host matches at the Women's World Cup in 2023. The tournament is kicking off in Auckland and concluding with the final at Sydney's Stadium Australia.

Of the 10 stadiums named to host the 64 matches, two will be in Sydney - including the soon to be completed Sydney Football Stadium.