Football Federation Australia has had a great deal to answer for regarding its equal treatment of male and female players this season. The dichotomy between men’s and women’s football has been so notable, in fact, that the FFA were awarded the 2015 Gold Ernie for Sexist Behaviour.

That’s not a joke, and it’s definitely not something to be proud of.

But at last, finally, the FFA is finding error in its ways and making attempts to close the divide they’ve been supporting for years. In a symbolic gesture to the women of football, the FFA awards night has been renamed the Dolan Warren Awards, including football legend Julie Dolan as a new namesake alongside fellow champion Johnny Warren.

While for many football fans Johnny Warren doesn’t need much introduction, Julie Dolan played 34 matches for Australia across a ten-year career, an impressive count for any player, man or woman. She’s 55 now, working as the Technical Director at the International Football School on the Central Coast and her name already titles the award night’s Best Female Player of the Year award.

The announcement has been met with a largely positive response, with advocates of the women’s game seeing the move as a step towards equal recognition.

For others, however, the decision dishonoured traditions in Australian football.

Pitting Dolan alongside Warren represents acknowledgement that women are just as entitled to the recognition and accolades that the FFA awards night provides. Despite the gender inequality surrounding playing conditions, sponsorship funds, media exposure and – god forbid – pay gaps that are still extraordinarily prevalent in football, surely at least one night of celebration can show support of women in a sport that traditionally spotlights the achievement of men.

Kudos to the FFA. They’ve pioneered female recognition ahead of other football codes in the NRL and AFL. Let’s hope they don’t underestimate the intelligence of its supporters though; just because the name has changed it doesn’t mean the problems have disappeared.

We won’t forget that the Matildas withdrew from a US tour in September last year over a pay crisis that revealed each player earned a salary of $21,000 a year, well below the average minimum wage and a fee that forced many to consider careers outside football. In the FIFA Women’s World Cup last year, each player received $500 a game up to Round 16, while the Socceroos were raking in $7,500.

A collective bargaining agreement has now been settled for the women’s national team and representatives from the Westfield W-League gathered together earlier this month to address the sacrifices women make to play a sport they love. A lack of changing facilities, paying for their own physio and medical appointments, booking their own accommodation, and, humiliatingly, running out of water bottles – are all priorities. One W-League player estimated she lost around $10,000 of her own savings to play this season.

So snaps to the FFA, but show us the Dolan Warren Awards are not band aid solution.

You can start by asking the women on the red carpet about more than who or what they are wearing.

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A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.