The W-League will grow its number of matches by more than a quarter next season, with the introduction of Wellington Phoenix as the competition’s 10th team.

As the strategy for the growth of women’s football announced by the Australian Professional Leagues last week immediately comes to life, Phoenix will become the first new team in the competition since 2015.

The removal of byes from the draw and an extra round of finals means the competition will grow from 57 games to 74 next season, immediately widening opportunities for players less than two years before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

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