FFA set to expand W-League if World Cup bid is successful

The FFA hopes hosting the women's World Cup will be the trigger for W-League expansion after officially submitting bid documents to FIFA last week.

The joint proposal to host the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in 2023 does include games in Canberra, but it could have a major impact on the capital's women's team.

Jessie Rasschaert made her W-League debut as a 32-year-old. Picture: Getty Images

Jessie Rasschaert made her W-League debut as a 32-year-old. Picture: Getty Images

Officials gave a detailed briefing of tournament plans this week, including the vision for the World Cup to "underpin an expansion in the number of clubs" in the W-League and extending the season.

Clubs have been calling for a full home-and-away campaign for several years, but complications with timings of other competitions overseas and the financial investment have halted the growth.

Canberra is the only existing club not aligned to an A-League franchise, although there are plans to join the men's and women's program if the capital's bid to join the A-League is successful. But FFA bosses are looking to add teams and games to the W-League season if it gets the boost of hosting the women's World Cup for the first time.

Canberra defender Jessie Rasschaert welcomed news of the World Cup bid and potential growth. Rasschaert waited until she was 32 before getting a W-League opportunity.

"The women's game has come such a long way and our Australian side is one of the best in the world. It's exciting, absolutely," Rasschaert said.

Canberra players are hoping the second leg of a 14,236 kilometre journey will be the turning point in their W-League campaign this weekend.

United will fly to Adelaide for the second game of a hectic period of the season, which started with a trip to Perth and finishes with a match in Canberra in Boxing Day.

They will have to do at least this week without United States import Katie Stengel, who will miss the clash as she continues her battle to overcome a nagging ankle problem.

But Kaleigh Kurtz, another international recruit, is confident Canberra can turn things around to beat Adelaide to get the team's finals hopes back on track.

"Our confidence is pretty high because we've been losing games in the last 10 minutes and that's something that is fairly easily fixable," Kurtz said.

"We just need to work on it in practice and work out what strategy works best for our players."

This story FFA uses World Cup bid to expand W-League first appeared on The Canberra Times.