Rae Dower will remain Junior Matildas Head Coach through 2022, and will also take on an additional role as the FFA’s Women’s Technical Advisor.
Dower outlined her desire to ensure the current crop of Matildas isn’t viewed as a ‘golden generation’ in years to come, but rather as the start of an ongoing standard.
“When you call something a golden generation it kind of caps it, you think that’s the best there is and there’s nothing better to come”, she told Box2Box.
“I think what’s exciting is that there are great players to come… we just now have to try and provide them with the environment and opportunity to realise that potential.”
Part of the ongoing growth of the women’s game is that pathways have spread, meaning that while there is more talent available, it can also be easier to miss.
Dower is cognizant that the net needs to be continually cast wide, and be conducive to a variety of talent.
“What is becoming more and more evident is that there is no distinct pathway. For players in regional areas who maybe don’t have a lot of high performance coaches around, there still (needs to be) opportunity for them.”
“We’ve got to keep the eyes peeled and use our vast resource of networks across the country to make sure we don’t keep a really narrow field.”
The recent exodus of the W-League’s top talent to European leagues has naturally raised fears over the standard of the local competition. Dower is viewing it as a positive: those players will need to be replaced, meaning more opportunity for new talent.
“There’s a real responsibility for the system here in Australia to produce players to step in and fill that void. 25 players around the country now get an opportunity to be seen and play at a higher level, and to raise that standard.”
“We want to have a really robust squad of 60-70 players that are pushing and knocking on that door for the 2023 World Cup. The only way you can do that is to develop more players and bring that level up.”