How good has it been to watch the Westfield Matildas take on – and beat – the best nations in the world in recent months?
As a former captain of the national team, I get such pride seeing this current bunch of girls outperform and outclass the world’s best right now. They’re on their way to becoming known as one of the world’s best.
Their attitude, skill and team spirit has been a breath of fresh air. Australia’s football, is just a pure joy to watch.
Not surprisingly the Australian public is jumping on board. And why wouldn’t you?
STAJ THE ARCHITECT OF GOLDEN GEN
This hasn’t been an overnight success story. The leaps and bounds the team have made has taken time.
For me, it really started to change when “Staj” [coach Alen Stajcic] took the team on. He brought in a “no-excuses” attitude.
He put expectations on the players to achieve a lot more. He’s got big dreams, belief in the team and what they can achieve, and the team all have belief in Staj.
This has lead to them to start reaping the rewards of putting their faith into one dream.
Whether they have been in the national team set-up for 15 years or a rookie in the squad, they’re all working together, all on the same page.
Like my good mate Lisa De Vanna, it’s hard to believe the girl who lived with me when she was 14 is now where I was towards the end of my career.
I’ve watched her from the beginning of her career all the way to leading Australia out onto the field as team captain. Maturing as a player and person both on and off the field.
She’ll love being a part of this squad, and being part of the team’s growth and the young talent that Australia has right now.
And what about Sam Kerr?
I love watching her play, she runs out with a smile and ends the game smiling – that’s what people want to see.
She’s got a little bit of flamboyance but by no means whatsoever has she got an attitude about her.
She’s just a kid that loves to play football and that shows. With her, what you see is what you get.
This filters right through the girls and is a major reason for the scenes we’ve seen in Penrith and Newcastle over the last week.
Almost 32,000 fans at the stadiums and hundreds of thousands of viewers on TV says it all.
These girls are great role models for kids – girls and boys.
People want athletes that are not only good at their chosen sport but also positive role models their kids can look up too on and off the field.
The girls not only gave 100% in both games against Brazil, they all stayed around afterward and signed shirts, took selfies and signed posters for all the supporters.
And they’ll do it again in November when they take on China in two games in Victoria.
There’s one question I’ve heard quite a lot lately regarding this brilliant Westfield Matildas team?
Can they win the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019?
Well, we’re certainly on the right track. You can be sure everyone one of the girls in that team will believe they can.
In the past, it’s been a possibility but the odds were probably against us because we struggled to get back-to-back wins against the big teams.
Yes, we were always competitive with the top nations in one off games, but pulling off back-to-back wins consistently was the challenge.
We’ve now won three in a row against Brazil and five in a row against nations ranked in the top 10 including the USA who are ranked number 1.
We’re past the point of just being another team and other top nations are starting to take notice. Now they really fear us.
That glass ceiling? The girls are shattering that!
The sky really is the limit. Let’s make sure we stay behind the girls and give them all our support.
It’s going to be a big couple of years for the Westfield Matildas.
Let’s all enjoy the ride!
Source : Football Federation Australia