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  • Writer's pictureWomen in Football

Women in Football Tournament

We have now announced the details of our Women in Football Tournament and Women in Football Awards to be held on the Central Coast of NSW on 11-12 September 2021.

You can find out more information about what we're doing, as well as why and how from the following:

We encourage you to take a few moments to read all of this material.

We also wanted to explain why we've named the trophy for the championship group the 'Waltzing Trophy' and for the league group, the 'Pat O'Connor Trophy'.

In 1975, Australia was invited to take part in the first Ladies (as it was called then) Asian Cup. At that time, the 'Matildas' as we know them today - that is, a national women's team - did not exist.

Instead, a group of women led by Pat O'Connor - who had formed the Australian Ladies' Soccer Association in the 1960s - and mostly, but not solely, comprised of players from NSW, were given the imprimatur of the then Australian Soccer Association to be Australia's representatives at the first Women's Asian Cup.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) noted the tournament as its inaugural edition here. It was won by New Zealand, with Thailand second, Australia third, and Malaysia fourth. It took another 31 years for Australia to finish in a top three spot at the Asian Championships - in 2006 when we placed second after China and ahead of North Korea. Since then, Australia has won the women's Asian Cup once (2010) and we were again runners-up in 2014 and 2018.

The women in the 1975 squad have not been awarded caps, and nor are they recognised as 'Matildas' as we know them today.

Instead, the first official match of an Australian women's team is noted as taking place in 1978 when Australia participated in a Women's World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan. Australia's first official 'A' international games were against New Zealand in 1979.

It is up to the governing body to determine whether the 1975 squad should be retrospectively issued with an official cap - which seems to us to be a logical step considering the AFC recognises the 1975 tournament as an official Asian tournament.

Nonetheless, the Women in Football committee thought it would be good and deserved to give the team a modest recognition within the local football community in the naming of our two tournament trophies.

Accordingly, the Women in Football championship trophy (between the top eight teams after the group stage) is named the Waltzing Trophy - because Waltzing comes before Matilda - and the other trophy (for the lower eight teams after the group stage) is named the Pat O'Connor Trophy.

The women who competed in the 1975 Ladies Asian Cup were:

  • Christel Abenthum, Sue Binnes, Kim Coates, Julie Dolan, Lynn Everett Miller, Trudy Fisher, Cindy Heydon, Vickie Kohen, Sue Larsen, Lynn McKenzie, Pat O'Connor (captain), Connie Selby (Byrnes), Trixie Tagg (Barry), Sue Taylor, Stacey Tracy, Gundy Zarins. The team was coached by Joe O'Connor.

Five of the players were named in the 'Asian All Stars' team at the conclusion of the tournament: Christel Abenthum, 14-year-old Julie Dolan, Pat O'Connor, Connie Selby and Trixie Tagg.

Dolan (#1), Coates (#5) and Heydon (#6) were all subsequently capped, and the Julie Dolan Medal is awarded annually to the W-League player of the year.

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