Sydney FC defender Joel King has backed the decision to rebrand Australia's top football competitions, saying it will make the game more inclusive.
The Australian Professional Leagues on Wednesday announced that the A-League and W-League would now be known as the A-Leagues, in the lead-up to the 2021/22 seasons.
The A-League has been renamed A-League Men, while the W-League will be called A-League Women and the Y-League will be known as A-League Youth.
The APL consulted players, coaches and fans about making the change, which aims to put the leagues under a unified banner.
Shellharbour's King said the rebranding was a "great thing" for the sport.
"In the past couple of years, it's been separated as A-League and W-League. For it now to be under one umbrella is really good and quite inclusive, for women's football, men's and the Y-League," he said.
"I think we have an ambitious vision for the future of Australian football. It's obviously inclusive for every type of person we have. Our fan base is quite diverse and I think that's what's crucial for the success of the league."
The APL took control of Australia's top men's and women's competition in December 2020. This week's decision means A-League Men becomes the first domestic sporting competition where the men's game is specified in the name, but APL managing director Danny Townsend said the rebrand was "all about football".
"It's not men's football or women's football, it's just football," Townsend said.
"Bringing the female game up onto a level playing field with the men was something we felt really strongly about. We thought it's about time football took a leadership role in this space.
"We've got an amazing couple of years ahead of us with the Women's World Cup coming to Australia (in 2023), so this is just another step in our commitment to the women's game."
The announcement comes on the back of the A-Leagues signing a a historic TV deal with Network Ten in May.
The deal, which is reportedly worth $200 million over five years, will see the A-Leagues men's and women's seasons broadcast live on streaming service Paramount Plus, while there will be two live games broadcast each week on free-to-air TV.
"I think the new TV deal will be good. We've also got a new digital platform as well which will hopefully attract a lot more people to support the game," King said.
"I think the more viewers, the better game that we will get in general. And hopefully young boys and girls will now have a direct path to the top."
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