The group has now written to FFA’s Chief Executive David Gallop urging the FFA to reconsider the decision.

Southern Expansion’s CEO Chris Gardiner said:

“Frankly, we find it hard to understand. The W-League has a 9-team competition, the A-League a 10-team competition. The FFA says it wants to grow the Women’s game and Southern Expansion is in a position to fund the team, at levels that meets the best benchmarks set by Professional Footballers’ Australia and with a marquee player, but the FFA won’t even discuss the matter.

“Those of us who support Women’s Football were miffed by the publicity given to the AFL’s belated entry into women’s sport. Women’s Football in Australia has been around a long time, Australia’s competition is strong and it should and could be stronger. Southern Expansion can certainly make it stronger.”

In a letter sent to Mr Gallop Southern Expansion’s Chairman Les Murray said:

"So well have our preparations progressed that we are confident that, were it to be available, we could immediately establish and sustainably operate a team in the national W-League … We believe our strongly-backed Southern Expansion playing in the Southern Region is the Club to allow you to expand the W-League in the 2017-18 season”.

Gardiner added:

“We would be playing out of a region with a very solid female player base. It has two NPL and one State League women’s sides – the Illawarra Stingrays, Sutherland FA, and St George FC. There are grounds available, and even though most existing W-League players are signed for the season, we can put a competitive team together at short notice and build it as a title contender in subsequent years.

“Why would any peak body decline even to discuss an offer to bring the competition up to 10 teams to match the men’s competition? “Deep disappointment, indeed dismay, best describes how we feel about the unwillingness to even talk to us about our solid plans of growing the Women’s game – that’s why we’re urging the FFA to reconsider this decision.”