Australia’s top-tier men’s and women’s soccer competitions, the A-League and W-League, have been collectively rebranded as the A-Leagues before the upcoming seasons.
The A-League has been renamed A-League Men while the W-League is now known as A-League Women, with the Y-League rebadged as A-League Youth.
The Australian Professional Leagues (APL), which officially took full control of the leagues in December 2020, said it had consulted players, coaches and fans in deciding to align the leagues under a “unified banner”.
“The APL is all about football – it’s not men’s football or women’s football, it’s just football,” APL managing director Danny Townsend said.
“Bringing the female game up onto a level playing field with the men was something we felt really strongly about.
“We thought it’s about time football took a leadership role in this space.
“We’ve got an amazing couple of years ahead of us with the Women’s World Cup coming to Australia, so this is just another step in our commitment to the women’s game.”
Sydney FC and former Young Matildas defender Ally Green hailed the decision as the “biggest” change to hit the women’s competition since its inception in 2008.
“It’s a really important message to get across to Australians and worldwide as well,” Green said.
“It’s a world-leading announcement and we’re part of something really special here in Australia and in football.
“It’s just Australian football now and it’s a really important message to send to the other sports in Australia.
“I think they’re only going to follow and want to be on the same pedestal as us.
“t’s exciting that we’re one of the first in Australia and it will only progress and develop each league moving forward in the future.”
Socceroos and Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren also welcomed the change.
“For all of us to say we’re under one umbrella is a proud moment,” Maclaren said.
“Not only for me as a footballer but for everyone involved in football in Australia.””
The men’s competition kicks off on November 19 with the women’s league starting on December 3.