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For the first time ever, Fox Sports will showcase the women’s premier soccer league every week.

It will be a full fledged women’s event and it will be available to us every week.

Former Matilda defender, Amy Duggan is joining the team to anchor Fox Sport’s Westfield W-League coverage. She will be hosting a dedicated pre and post-match show each Sunday. Duggan will be joined each week by renowned women’s football commentator, Stephanie Brantz, who will take the calling duties alongside a rotating panel of experts.

Amy Duggen and Steph Brantz spoke to Mamamia about the upcoming W-League and its broadcast coverage. (Image supplied.)

Brantz spoke to Mamamia and says that Fox does sports coverage perfectly with all the bells and whistles and player profiles.

“It’ll be good to let the public get to know the players and hear a little about them above and beyond seeing them play every week,” she said. “I think it’s brilliant for the girls.”

The sports commentator believes that this is another step in taking these women to the next level. With Brantz as the primary commentator, Fox Sports have decided to embrace an all female hosting and commentating team.

“It’s really exciting for me. I’m thrilled and a little bit nervous,” Brantz says.

Former Matilda player and mum-to-three, Amy Duggen says the Fox coverage, in addition to the free-to-air ABC coverage, will do huge things for the women’s league and women’s sport in general.

She believes the coverage is creating role models for all women, young girls and teenagers in Australia.

“I think we underestimate ourselves all the time. You’ve got strong, powerful women who are creating lives with football but also along side football. Some of them are mothers, some of them are businesswomen, some of them are really highly educated and some of them are  young kids still in high school,” she says.

“We underestimate ourselves.” (Image supplied).

Of all the current Matilda’s players, only two aren’t playing in the competition (because they’re playing professionally overseas).

“That’s huge, we have a lot of young Matildas, we actually have a lot of ex-Matilda’s who are still involved in the game and some are even coming out of retirement to be a part of the season,” she says.

The W-League’s first game will be broadcast next Sunday, October 18th at 2pm AEDT. The game between Brisbane Roar and Canberra United will be on Fox Sports and Duggan says there’s a lot of reasons you should be watching.

“If you want to see the best female footballing talent, if you want to see fit girls, you want to see skills, you want to see great play, you want to see girls that are passionate about the game and you want to see what they work hard for their entire lives then this is a great platform for that,” she says.

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“There’s also been a lot of talk about our girls, girls on a whole not being treated fairly, so many people have had an opinion – certainly through the media and on social media especially over the past couple of months,” she says. “And I say to all of those people, show your true support, get out there and get to a game,  buy a jersey, or if you can’t do any of that sit on the couch and watch it because it is fantastic it is entertaining and I think once you’ve had a taste for it you’ll be back for more.”

It all starts next weekend. image via Westfield W-League Facebook Page.

For Brantz, we need to watch the women because they bring something that the men don’t. She says that the male players are amazing at what they do and she has utmost respect for them, but she says that the women play a tough honest game. It is very rare to see females (in any sport) try to ‘milk anything’ from the referees she says.

“The girls don’t dive. They’re  strong, honest and they are fit. They’re perfect role models,” she says.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever read anything about female footballers being in public strife and making menaces of themselves, which goes for other female athletes, and perhaps they’re not all high profiles and its not completely fair however they are wonderful, wonderful role models.”

In other sporting news this week…

In a huge milestone for women’s cricket, The International Cricket Council has launched Women’s Team Rankings for the first time, with Australia ranked number one in the world, followed by England in second place. The number one ranking follows Australia’s success in the Women’s World Cup in 2013, the Women’s World Twenty20 in 2014 and most recently with a win over England to take out the Women’s Ashes.

The Bathurst 1000 will see its first all-female team race this Sunday for the first time in nearly 20 years. Renee Gracie and Simona De Silvestro will race together in a Ford Falcon FG X. Both women are aware of the mixed support and scepticism as the only female team competing, but De Silvestro and Gracie agree that this race is about chasing a dream in the hopes that it might inspire other girls in the process.

Female participation in combat sports is on the rise in Australia. Shara Romer coaches the Queensland women’s boxing team and has been selected by Boxing Australia as acting head coach of the national women’s side for a training camp in England next month. She has attributed the spike in female participation to women becoming more open-minded about traditionally male-dominated sports. 

What sport have you been playing or watching this week?

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