When the Socceroos exited Russia in the group stage winless at yet another World Cup, questions were raised if Australia would ever be competitive at a soccer World Cup.
Many fans were left angered after another disappointing performance.
Soccer fans, yes Australia will be and it will be in France next year. This isn’t the Australian soccer team you were thinking of. This is the Matildas – Australia’s senior women’s soccer team.
Next year, expectations are high as Australia has been performing well above past standards in recent performances including thrashings of Brazil in friendlies late last year – a team which knocked the Aussies out of both the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Rio Olympics.
Australia has performed strongly in the Tournament of Nations in America which featured the Aussies along with hosts and world champions the USA along with Japan and Brazil. This means that the girls had exposure and have started to gain experience competing against top nations along with playing in front of large crowds.
Australia has one of the world’s top female soccer players, Sam Kerr and a host of the Aussies are part of the world leading Women’s National Soccer League in America – allowing Australia to surround themselves with top talent. Sam Kerr has excelled in front of the world stage in recent years and is a great leader for young girls.
Australia is planning to bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup so a strong performance in France next year could pave the way for a successful bid that will bring the world’s best female soccer players down under in 2023. A bid from Australia could be successful after gaining government support.
This bid would be the first following the disaster when Australia bid for the 2022 World Cup but controversially lost to Qatar.
The Matildas are a group of young rising stars who have earned respect, packing out stadiums across the country. Amongst the rise of female sport, the Matildas are the ones leading the way showing young girls around Australia that anything is possible, that they can achieve what they want and prove all the doubters wrong.
Many are starting soccer because their siblings did, now they are on a rise to possibly being the most high profile and well-supported female sporting team in Australia.
The Matildas are role models for young females and could become our first world cup champions along with becoming our new golden girls in France 2019.