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Aug 15, 2010   |  1:54AM AET

Westfield Matildas rise in world rankings

Westfield Matildas rise in world rankings

The Westfield Matildas have moved up the FIFA Women’s World Rankings from 14 to 11 (equal with Italy) following their historic AFC Women’s Asian Cup success in China earlier this year.

SYDNEY

The Westfield Matildas have moved up the FIFA Women-s World Rankings from 14 to 11 (equal with Italy) following their historic AFC Women-s Asian Cup success in China earlier this year.

The Westfield Matildas- 11th placed ranking is the team-s highest all-time ranking and improves on their 2007 12th place ranking and moves them above China PR (14), who drop out of the top 10 rankings.

The move also sees the Westfield Matildas move to 3rd in Asia behind Japan (5) and DPR Korea (6).

With the Westfield W-League set to kick-off on November 5, the move up the rankings comes as a welcome boost to Australia-s FIFA Women-s World Cup 2011 preparations.

“It-s always pleasing to move up the ranking and get closer to a top ten position,” said Westfield Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni.

“Our mid-to-long term aim to get into and maintain a place in the top ten so being this close now will only drive us to keep on improving.

“It-s always going to be tougher for teams in more isolated countries to progress quickly in these type of ranking systems.

“But we aim to continue to improve and although we remain cautious at this stage to have any specific targets this is another strong indication that the work we are doing in women-s football in Australia is seeing results.”

With the USA and Germany still occupying first and second positions respectively, a move so close to the top ten again highlights the many positives of Australia-s move into the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

“Australia-s move into the AFC has made more competitive matches available to our women-s teams,” said FFA Head of Women-s Football Leeanne Grantham.

“Playing tougher opponents has been a positive step forward in our players development and this can be seen from yet another important moment in Australian women-s football.”

With the majority of Westfield Matildas set to re-join their Westfield W-League teams for the third edition of the competition hopes are high that even more talent will emerge from Australia-s elite domestic league to help the Westfield Matildas- push in what will be their fifth consecutive FIFA Women-s World Cup campaign.

“The Westfield W-League has also assisted in this result as this elite pathway for our female players has created more competition for places and has allowed more players to be identified to enter our National Teams programs,” finished Grantham.

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