Matildas fans have plenty to celebrate as Nike pledged the Australian goalkeeper jerseys of Mackenzie Arnold and co will be available to purchase as early as July if the Matildas qualify for Paris 2024. After fierce backlash from fans about not being able to purchase goalkeeper kits such as England's Mary Earps during the Women's World Cup, Nike announced moving forward four nations keepers jerseys would be available.
However, Australia was not included on this list in August but it has now been promised that those jerseys will be available for "major tournaments" in future. The news came as a historic 10-year extension between Football Australia (FA) and Nike was announced on Friday.
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Nike's Pacific general manager and vice president Ash Reade told Optus Sport Nike recognises they didn't serve fans who wished to show their support to the squad’s goalkeepers and moving forward that will be rectified. "Before this tournament, we planned accordingly for the Matildas to go deep and Aussies more than met our expectations, with record jersey sales surpassing 2019 numbers nineteen-fold," Reade said.
"It’s a true testament to the power and pull of women’s sport and the women’s game. It reflects the unparalleled impact this team has had on the next generation of athletes and fans of all ages. Along with the nation, all of us at Nike continue to be inspired by the Matildas and are working hard to serve fans with the biggest and best team collections.”
The change means if Tony Gustavsson's side qualifies for Paris 2024 in February, Arnold, Lydia Williams and Teagan Micah's jerseys will become available to be purchased by fans.
Nike commits long-term to Australian football
Nike's announcement with FA includes a commitment beyond the Matildas, Socceroos, ParaMatildas, Pararoos and youth teams to also set aside investment for grassroots football and inclusivity programs.
"There's an investment that Nike will put into Football Australia as part of the deal and some of that will go back to the players as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and other parts will go into our elite performance programmes, ensuring that we run world-class programmes for both the Matildas, the Socceroos but also our youth teams and our Para teams as well," FA chief executive James Johnson said.
"There'll be another investment that's separate to that, that will go into the grassroots community through Legacy 23. And that's important for us in this negotiation, but it's also important with Nike."
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