Eyeing all Bendigo options ahead of 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

GOALS: The number of junior girls taking up soccer continues to increase.
GOALS: The number of junior girls taking up soccer continues to increase.

Now that Australia and New Zealand have locked in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, plans are emerging to try and bring a slice of the action to Bendigo.

Both the City of Greater Bendigo and the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League are eager to make it happen.

"Bendigo has a great reputation for staging international level sporting events and we are poised and ready to respond to expressions of interest as soon as it's viable," COGB tourism and major events manager Terry Karamaloudis said.

The prospect of holding matches might be off the cards, however, the focus is on trying to secure any practice matches, training camps or just a visit from one of the 32 teams that will compete in the World Cup.

"There is always a process involved with events such as the World Cup and we are waiting for that to roll out, we will absolutely be putting the COGB forward for opportunities," Karamaloudis said.

"Normally with these types of things there will be a prospectus and expressions of interest which generally outline the requirements a city needs to be in the running.

"We have the infrastructure, we're conveniently located close to Melbourne and we have amazing accommodation options where teams could be housed.

"We believe COGB has a lot of the elements which are required, so we will wait for the prospectus and then respond accordingly."

It was announced in June that Australia and New Zealand defeated Colombia 22-13 in FIFA Council voting to secure the 2023 event.

Two BASL administrators, Rebecca Fahey and Lauren Stevens, helped spread the word and increase interest in the World Cup by taking on roles as bid administrators.

Now the BASL is eager to continue working to help bring a piece of FIFA Women's World Cup history to Bendigo.

BASL president Aaron Shooter said it was "100 per cent something we want to be a part of".

"We will be communicating with Football Victoria, Football Federation Australia and COGB to try and make it happen," he said.

"It might not be a training camp or a match, but it would even be great for some of the teams to come and visit."

Shooter said overall, to see the World Cup come to Australia was a reflection of the game's "phenomenal growth".

"Every year we've seen junior girls team numbers grow and as it stands are well beyond what we had only three years ago," he said.

"The overall growth within the girl's code has been phenomenal and to have the World Cup in Australia will be another driver of participation."

Even if the COGB wasn't able to host any events, nonetheless Shooter said there will still be access for Bendigo players to see the world's best in action.

"The fact that players from Bendigo will be able to travel two hours to Melbourne to see women's international football is amazing," he said.

"But if we are able to bring them closer up to Bendigo, that would be even better and we will do everything in our power to do so."

This story Bendigo eyes options for Women's World Cup first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.