Women’s game on the rise

After a decorated career that included 55 games in the W-League and four appearance for the Matildas, Catherine Cannuli wants to make sure of one thing in retirement: that every female in south-west Sydney is given the same chance.

On the ball: Catherine Cannuli is the first Southern Districts Soccer Football Association women's technical director. Details: www.sdsfa.com Pictures: Chris Lane

On the ball: Catherine Cannuli is the first Southern Districts Soccer Football Association women's technical director. Details: www.sdsfa.com Pictures: Chris Lane

The 30-year-old is the first women’s technical director of the Southern Districts Soccer Football Association (SDSFA).

And she has set the bar high when it comes to long-term goals.

“I want to make Southern Districts the best women's football program in the state and one of the best programs in Australia," Cannuli told the Champion. “There has been plenty of girls come from south-west area play for the Matildas and that’s where we want to be.”

Cannuli started her role last year and has placed an emphasis on growing the numbers in women’s football.

She herself started playing the game she loved with a boys team at Marconi as a youngster and at 13 played in the open age women's team.

She would like to see enough numbers to run all-girl competitions from under-6s all the way to all-age women.

“That’s the plan,” said Cannuli, who scored a goal in her final W-League game.

“We are in a much better position than we were five years ago with a lot more girls playing the game.

“But with AFL, netball and cricket knocking on our door we are trying to provide a quality product where girls get the training they need to learn the game.”

I want to make Southern Districts the best women's football program in the state and one of the best programs in Australia.

Catherine Cannuli

Cannuli said she was enjoying her new role that aims to improve coaching education for female football coaches in the SDSFA.

“I’m loving the role. There is nothing better than working in the game you love,” she said. “There are two parts to my role.The first part is looking after all the grassroots and all the association-based football, including the Skill Acquisition Program.

“The second part is the Women’s State League program which is more competition based and from under-12s right up to all-ages women.” 

Cannuli is still making an impact on the field as well helping the SD Raiders FC win last year’s Women’s State League.