The FFA & PFA need to be commended for delivering the most historic pay deal in our game’s history.

The previous CBA deal was a stepping stone in this right direction.

This new deal is more a platform that we can base off and move forward, ensuring football in Australia remains progressive and innovative.

The FFA wants to make football the #1 sport for females in Australia, and all us Matildas (including the Socceroos!) want to get behind that vision.

We probably haven’t had that platform in the past, in comparison to other female sports, and it’s hurt the growth of our game as we feel behind the eight ball as other sports surged ahead in their investment in female participation & athlete identification.

But the FFA & PFA are doing everything possible to make sure the game doesn’t take a backwards step any more.

Tameka Butt of Australia poses with fans after the women's international match
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 16: Tameka Butt of Australia poses with fans after the women’s international match between the Australian Matildas and Brazil at Pepper Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images)

Thanks in part to the most recent CBA deal, we’re now got something we’ve never had before, and that’s job security.

The security of not having to worry about individual performances, no longer listening to the voice in the back of your head telling you if you don’t have a best-on-ground performance than you won’t be here much longer.

Not that our team has ever relied too heavily on individuals, but our team ethos and culture has never been stronger. We all have truly bought into being a team, and it’s helped a lot with our confidence and also enhanced our ability of play.

You only need to look at our recent performances at the Tournament of Nations and the international friendlies against Brazil to see that the Matildas are playing for each other.

The media coverage has been incredible, and we’re not ready for it to stop, so it’s important we continue to showcase our talent & skill on the world stage.

We’re not afraid of a challenge, and we are confident our best football is capable of matching any nation in the world.

Right now, we have such a perfect mix of generations, from veterans to emerging stars and a core group of players in their prime.

And whether you’re in the starting 11, or make the team every few camps, everyone comes in and performs their role – knowing that we are striving towards a common goal.

One thing I’ve also noticed is that we are communicating more regularly, in particularly when we’re not in camp with each other.

A lot of us play in various teams and leagues around the world, but in the last couple of years we have all managed to stay in contact with each other and that makes it a lot easier when we do finally come back together.

Personally, I’m enjoying my football more than I ever have, and I can’t wait to get to Matildas’ camp in a month’s time and see all the girls again.

Tameka Butt

Tameka Butt is an Australian professional football midfielder who plays for Brisbane Roar in the W-League.

She has been a member of the Australian Matildas since making her debut in 2007, and competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.