The PFF Women’s League marks a new platform for players to gain experience and for local clubs to develop more homegrown talent.
The growth of women’s football in the Philippines cannot be denied, and it is definitely being widely celebrated, especially as the Women’s National Football Team made their historic qualification into the Football World Cup taking place next month.
And even though this is an incredible feat that cannot be taken away from the team and the players, the football community still believes that there is still a lot more room for women’s football to grow on local soil. The Philippine Football Federation is hoping to bolster this growth through the upcoming PFF Women’s League kicking off on June 24, 2023, at the PFF National Training Center.
Here’s what you can expect from this local women’s league!
10 participating teams
The PFF Women’s League was first launched in 2016 by the Philippine Football Federation as a platform for female footballers in the country to compete. The league’s inaugural season featured teams from local universities or clubs comprised of alumni players.
This year, the Women’s League will be contested by 10 participating teams, including squads from UAAP schools and other invited football clubs.
These are the team who will be fighting for the League championship this year: De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Kaya FC, Stallion Laguna, Azzurri SC, Nomads FC, Tuloy FC, and Manila Digger.
FEU is expected to be a strong contender for the title this year as the defending UAAP champions and PFF Women’s Cup champions. However, the DLSU Lady Booters have won the PFF Women’s League thrice and will also be one of the top teams to beat.
In addition to these mainstay teams, a new club will also be joining the league this year: Manila Digger. After competing in several pocket tournaments throughout the country, the ladies on their squad will be excited to compete on a new playing field.
Same format, high level of competition
Similar to previous editions, the PFF Women’s League will follow a double-round league format. Teams will each play one another twice, where a win is equivalent to three points, a draw equals one point, and a loss garners zero. At the end of two rounds, the champions will be determined by the team with the highest amount of accumulated points.
This year, the participating teams are expecting a high level of competition. Given the increase in exposure for women’s football, and with the success of the Filipinas, several team coaches have expressed that the girls on their respective squads now have a renewed motivation to hopefully play for the women’s national team.
“We’re here to support the development of women’s football and hopefully this becomes a pathway for our players to join the national team,” Coach Ernie Nierras of Stallion Laguna expressed in a press conference earlier today. “I think it’s a good opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and develop women’s football in the Philippines.”
Raising the standard
While the country does not yet have a fully professional league, the PFF Women’s League is a great platform for female footballers to compete and gain experience to help them develop.
“Women’s football in the Philippines is moving a bit higher from the past years, as we observe, and these girls that we have right now are really giving their best, sparing their time from work for the games,” Manila Digger Team Captain Mea Bernal shared.
Creating this opportunity for more competition and more football action in the local community also gives local football clubs and schools the chance to develop more homegrown talent to support the national team.
“I’m hoping that with what the PFF is doing, this becomes a springboard to improve the quality of our players in the Philippines,” Nierras added.
Hopefully, this will indeed add to the momentum that women’s football is already beginning to see here in the Philippines.
To catch all the league action, matches will be live-streamed on social media on the PFF Women’s League pages.
Banner image from PFF Women’s League on Facebook.