The W- League is the top flight competition in Women’s Football in Australia. The league was established in 2008, and is made up of eight teams, seven of which are affiliated with seven current A-League (men’s competition) clubs. The eighth team is based in Canberra, the home of the Australian Institute of Sport.
The league is sponsored by the Westfield Group and is known as the Westfield W League. The girls who play in this league are semi-professional, although many play professionally overseas as well. Teams in the W-League have a salary cap of AUD$150,000 for the entire squad. By comparison, the salary cap in the corresponding men’s’ competition, the A-League, is AUD$2.35 million!
The W-League’s inaugural match saw Perth Glory host Sydney FC at Members Equity Stadium on 25 October 2008.
Queensland Roar (later to become Brisbane Roar) was the inaugural League Premier after the home and away season. They then went into a finals series with the three other teams finishing in the top four and in the first W League Grand Final they defeated Canberra United 2-0 to win the Champions Trophy.
In season number two Sydney FC ended up as Premiers and then beat Brisbane Roar 3-2 in the Grand Final to be crowned Champions.
Season three saw these two finalists finish first and second in the league, with Sydney retaining their Premiership. They also met in the Grand Final again, but on this occasion Brisbane Roar prevailed with a 2-1 victory to claim their second Championship.
One game per week is broadcast live nationwide on the national broadcaster ABC1.