Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced on Monday that it has promoted former Westfield Matildas and Westfield W-League star Sarah Walsh to the position of General Manager - Participation within its Football Development Department.
Walsh’s expanded responsibility from women’s football to take in all forms of participation comes as FFA seeks to increase efforts to support and service grassroots football, as well as continue to drive growth in female football participation across the nation.
FFA CEO David Gallop AM welcomed Walsh’s appointment.
“This is another example of how FFA and football is focused on improving the experience of grassroots participants in Australia’s most popular sport,” said Gallop.
“In addition to women’s football, Sarah now assumes responsibility for ALDI MiniRoos, multicultural and school’s football, as well as working with Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League Clubs in their community engagement activities. I would like to congratulate Sarah on her well-earned promotion.”
FFA’s Head of Community, Football Development, and Women’s Football Emma Highwood said Walsh’s transition is part of a larger restructure of the department, which will help FFA to focus on some key priorities and objectives.
“The new structure will focus our people on Participation and Women, Grassroots and Inclusion, and Diversity including Child Safeguarding,” said Highwood.
“The new areas of the department will work collaboratively to ensure that FFA addresses its key objectives and priorities, which include growing the overall number of female participants, increasing the involvement of women at all levels and areas of the game, and ensuring that football is a safe sport for kids.
“Women’s and girl’s football is the fastest growing area of our sport, and a strategic priority at the grassroots. Sarah’s expertise in this area combined with the new structure will ensure football is well placed to seize this opportunity, particularly as the Westfield Matildas begin their build-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year,” concluded Highwood.
Walsh said: “I am excited to take on this new opportunity. As a former player I feel privileged to be in a position to now support the grassroots of the game, and I am looking forward to working with our stakeholders to ensure every boy and girl has a great experience in the game they love.”