The Matildas continue to impress with style

Sebastian Roar Pro

By Sebastian, Sebastian is a Roar Pro

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    Women’s football in Australia continues to take huge strides forward as the Matildas position themselves as not only participants but contenders at next year’s FIFA World Cup, in France.

    The recently completed Tournament of Nations in the USA saw the Matildas finish runners-up to the host nation, due only to goal difference.

    Alen Stajcic’s team were undefeated throughout the tournament and would have beat the No.1 ranked USA if not for a last-minute equaliser.

    Football within Australia is facing many questions in regards to administration and cost of playing but Stajcic’s team continue to defy the odds, especially when compared to their male counterparts. The Socceroos’ struggle for a clear identity is in contrast to the Matildas’ enterprising and attacking values, which have seen them gain admirers within the congested Australian sporting landscape.

    The exuberance of youth has helped, as highlighted by the debut of 15-year-old Mary Fowler during the Tournament of Nations, while 18-year-old Ellie Carpenter again highlighted the development of players under Stajcic’s tutelage with her outstanding displays in defence, in place of Steph Catley, who was absent for personal reasons.

    In fact, the Matildas only fielded three outfield players born in the 1980s in their game against Japan.

    This positive development was non-existent in the men’s World Cup only a few weeks ago, as the Socceroos failed to break out of their short-sighted defensive mentality. Daniel Arzani was the only bright spark, as he attempted to inspire a one-dimensional playing style by playing with uninhibited confidence.

    The continued push by the Matildas to be part of our mainstream sporting dialogue has also been aided by the success of Samantha Kerr, who is now one of the nation’s most recognisable sporting personalities, and recently picked up the ESPY as the best international eomen’s football player.

    Stajcic has also reiterated the need for football to tap into the talent pool of remote Indigenous communities. The Tournament of Nations squad included Kyah Simon and Lydia Williams, who both proudly acknowledge their Indigenous roots.

    Stajcic believes the inclusion of Indigenous talent has been overlooked, telling the ABC, “I look at sports like NRL and AFL and see how many Aboriginal players are in there, and they’re not just making up the numbers – they’re generally the best players in the team.”

    This lack of pro-activeness was highlighted in the men’s squad for the World Cup, which did not include a single player who identified as Indigenous.

    The USA is the only country where the women’s team passes the men’s team in regards to popularity. This trend though may very well find its way to Australia, especially with the women’s World Cup on the horizon, where the Matildas find themselves in a position to create history.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • August 10th 2018 @ 8:46am
      Kangas said | August 10th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      I agree that soccer has never tapped into the idiginous community in male soccer , with many kids following their heroes by playing rugby league and Aussie rules .

      The rest of this is argument too simplistic , to say the Matilda’s played with identity of attacking flair is too simplistic also as their matches in the ton saw them sit deep in defence absorbing pressure and counter attacking. They don’t play like Socrates Brazil as the author would have us believe . They play with a solid defensive structure, similar to the men and only dominate and attack in numbers against minnows .

      Ellie Carpenter is a talent box to box player , but at 18 woman , she is a fully matured athlete , that has started already for 3 years since she was 15 in the w league . Women mature physically much younger then men .

      The author would have us believe that the men’s team should have had A league some 15 year olds males running around . The physical maturity in males from 15 to 17 is huge never mind to 22 and adult hood .
      Simple fact men mature physical later then women .
      Now unless you have some freakish male talents who are world class at 16 ( Pele I s the freakish exception ). they are not ready for the World Cup .
      In my lifetime, I can think of only 2 teenagers who have made an impact for Australia being kewell and arzani . And kewell turned out to be a world class player.
      While I support young players getting more A league time they need to be ready .

      It’s even obvious at Npl level that the youth teams of 17-18 jets youth , Sydney fc youth etc struggle against Npl players. The author would have us believe these players should be picked for the World Cup .

      • August 10th 2018 @ 10:59am
        Sebastian said | August 10th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Kangas, I agree that men and women mature at different rates but my argument still stands that Men’s football in this country struggles to develop the next generation and where in the socceroos line-up are we seeing this youth come through. Sometimes you do not know if they are ready unless you give them an opportunity, and to be honest the youth systems within this country are still so poor that young technically good players are not being brought through. In terms on the way the Matilda’s play of course at times they need to defend and grind out results but they are certainly an exciting team to watch wherein they attack with pace and purpose. I do think your argument is interesting and does raise some good points.

    • August 10th 2018 @ 10:01am
      MQ said | August 10th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      The US has been the yardstick in women’s soccer for a couple of decades now.

      I think the Matildas are on the verge of emulating them in every respect.

    • August 10th 2018 @ 10:05am
      Lionheart said | August 10th 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      Well done the Matildas.
      I’m sure you’ll find that Canada gives more funding and love to the women’s game than the men’s game.

    • Roar Guru

      August 10th 2018 @ 11:17am
      JamesH said | August 10th 2018 @ 11:17am | ! Report

      Great work by the Matildas but I’m not sure the swipe at the Socceroos’ WC efforts was necessary. BVM and the boys put up a pretty good fight. It’s all well and good to talk about ‘short-sighted defensive mentality’ and a ‘one-dimensional playing style’ but what else do you do when you lack world-class finishers? It’s not the fault of the team or the (interim) coach that there is a lack of young talent coming through.

      • August 10th 2018 @ 12:09pm
        chris said | August 10th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        Yes not sure why there is this constant need to compare the Matildas with the mens. Its all been said before but still the articles keep on coming as why are the women top 5 and the men aren’t?

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