• Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams claims the team deserves more financial recognition (Getty Images)
Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams says the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement saga between Professional Footballers Australia and Football Federation Australia has left players concerned about their jobs.
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13 Aug 2015 - 3:31 PM  UPDATED 13 Aug 2015 - 6:27 PM

“We have games coming up and a qualifying period to make the (Rio 2016) Olympics and we want to concentrate on that,” the Matildas goalkeeper said.

“We don’t want to think about being out of a job or being out of a salary or a contract and unfortunately that’s where it’s at the moment for us.”

Tensions boiled over yesterday after the players’ union issued a statement alleging that Australia’s football governing body had withdrawn its recognition of PFA, a claim FFA categorically denies.

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Speaking to The World Game, Williams said that after returning from Australia’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in June, the team was forced to get up to speed on where the CBA negotiations were at in a short amount of time.

“Going to Canada, that was the furthest thing from our minds because we had to focus on what we needed to do (on the pitch),” she said.

“As soon as we got back then it was right back into trying to negotiate and get our heads around all the information that has been circulated over the last year or so with the men. We had to make up for it within the space of a month or two months to get an agreement.”

Despite several meetings taking place in the past year between PFA and FFA, neither party is close to settling on a resolution.

“For us, we’re disappointed that nothing has been rectified as of yet, but we hope that it does because this next period is really important for us,” Williams said.

“With the support from the men, the PFA, the media and everyone in the football community, we want to try and get this sorted out as quickly as possible, especially for the girls that have made the sacrifices to get to Canada and we’re still doing that without a solution.”

Buoyed by their spirited FIFA Women's World Cup performance, which saw the Matildas side etch its way into the history books by becoming the first senior national football team from Australia to progress from the round of 16, Williams believes it’s high-time the players were recognised for their hard work and achievement.

“We proved with our preparation and how much effort each and every single one of us put in that we want to be known as professional players. We acted like that, we performed like that and all of us believe that we should now be rewarded like that.”

After reports surfaced in June about the shocking pay disparity between the Matildas and the Socceroos, Williams said that after sitting down with the playing group and PFA to determine what they wanted in the agreement, player wages were at the top of the list. 

“We want to be treated like we are professionals and get all the minimum requirements that the youth league and the men get. For us the financial situation is something that we want to rectify.

“Our team have a lot of potential and we’re a reward driven team. We want to prove to everyone – not only people in Australia but also the world – that we’re a real force to be reckoned with and we have so much talent and potential.

“It’s all the simple things that have to be covered. We want to make sure that there’s a good base for our healthcare and insurance and also rewarding and financially stabilising the girls.”

Although PFA and FFA confirmed they are committed to negotiations, FFA claimed that no bargaining meetings have been scheduled.

“For us, we’re all on the same page, every single one of the girls. We’re going for not only what we achieved at the world cup but what we could potentially achieve in four years-time as well,” Williams revealed.

With rumours of an A-League player strike starting to intensify, Williams was pragmatic when asked if it was something the Matildas had considered.

“At the moment we’re being advised by the PFA on the actions to take. They have a better understanding on where negotiations are at and what can be achieved.

“We want to represent Australia in everything that we can do for our country and also football. What the FFA are suggesting, we just have to take it day-by-day and stick together as a group.”