Inspirational stories of persistence, resilience and drive have painted this week’s build up to rebel Female Football Round.
Starting with Thursday evening's clash between Adelaide United and Canberra United, this weekend the nation is uniting to celebrate women in football and the huge role they play at all levels of the game.
And throughout the week, both Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs have played their part in highlighting women in football and showcasing the rise of the women’s game.
Here, we pick some of the best stories and segments we’ve seen!
Brisbane Roar stars heartened by fan mail
We start in Brisbane, where Roar stars Jenna McCormick, Natalie Tathem, Hayley Raso and Carson Pickett read out letters of support they have received from young Roar fans.
There were words of support for Westfield Matildas star Raso, while United States import Pickett revealed it is letters like these that help drive her on the pitch.
“These letters definitely keep me going and help me be confident on the field knowing there’s kids in the stand that I’m an inspiration to or maybe helping in some way,” she said.
Victory stars offer advice for aspiring athletes
American star Dani Weatherholt and rising Australian talent Melina Ayres have had differing paths to the Westfield W-League.
But the pair undoubtedly offered some sound advice to young players with dreams of reaching the top.
“Be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge you can get,” said Weatherholt.
“Whether that be from the teammates around you or the coaches in your environment.”
Western Sydney Wanderers discuss journeys, family and sacrifices
The road to professional football is a tough one and full of sacrifices – just ask Western Sydney Wanderers teenager Rachel Lowe.
In a frank White Ribbon conversation with Wanderers’ Hyundai A-League starlet Jordan O’Doherty, the pair remember the challenges they have encountered and sacrifices they have made on the way to where they are now.
“From a young age I knew that it was the career I wanted to have,” said Lowe.
“My family have had to drive me everywhere, sacrifice time off work and time out of their day to do the things I need through them.”
Father and daughter’s love of football helps create history
Perth Glory’s all-time Westfield W-League appearance holder Shannon May remembers the influence her father had on helping her realise her dreams.
“I remember him taking me over to the park and kicking the ball with him, having penalty shoot outs, and making me kick with my left foot until I cried and I didn’t want any more.
“But I probably have to thank him now because I’m pretty good with my left!”
Wellington Phoenix’s incredible gesture
Wellington Phoenix threw their support behind rebel Female Football Round by giving away 1,000 free tickets to women and girls for their Hyundai A-League clash with Adelaide United this weekend.
The tickets will be available to the first 1,000 women and girls at the Westpac Stadium for the Round 5 clash, which kicks off at 5.35pm AEDT or 7.35pm local time on Saturday evening.
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An 'epic' change presents world of opportunity
Central Coast Mariners fan Gabby Bowles started playing football as a 12-year-old for her under 16’s team.
At the time, it was the only level that girls her age could play at. But today, there are a number of opportunities for young girls pursuing footballing careers.
“The opportunities that exist now with pathway programs for academies for girls is just huge,” she said.
“And the fact that young girls can aspire to one day play football for a living, that’s just epic.”
Sydney FC get their purple on
The Sky Blues will be tinted with purple when they take to the pitch in Sunday’s Big Blue double-header, with a special set of names and numbers being printed on their Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League kits.