Matildas’ striker Kyah Simon has backed netball players in their dispute over pay and conditions, saying Australia’s footballers have deep empathy for their plight and that all the nation’s women athletes should continue to push for better rights.

The Central Coast Mariners star made the comments at the MCG, where she accepted the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s Don Award on behalf of the Matildas, who were judged to be the athletes to provide the most inspiration to Australians in 2023. The national team finished fourth at the World Cup in a tournament that broke ratings records and attracted millions of fans.

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