Wanderers midfielder Linda O’Neill on the Matildas' World Cup journey and attracting international superstars.Hi Everyone,
Like most football fans around the world I have been watching with interest the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada and I can't wait for our quarter final against Japan on Sunday morning.
I have been passionately supporting Australia and the Matildas and so far the Matildas have been playing some of the best football in their history. To make it into a third straight World Cup quarter final is stuff of legend.
Our starting line-up is something really special and it is very difficult to pick the one standout player in the squad as they have all been playing well individually and even better as a team.
If I was forced into choosing who my favourite Matildas player is, I would have to say Sam Kerr as she has been killing it in both attack and defence at this World Cup. It’s hard not to give Lisa De Vanna a mention either.
The recognition of Australian women’s football by the general public and the media is something really heartwarming to see. It is something that has taken a really long time to happen as I feel women’s football has been very much cast in the shadows of Australian sport.
With the ongoing success of the Matildas it is as if a bright light has finally shone on how great women’s football is and has also shown the other nations in the World Cup that Australia is a force to be reckoned with.
The hype and light surrounding the Matildas has consequently given a great amount of attention to our domestic Westfield W-League competition and our next mission is to transfer the excitement of the World Cup to our local game.
One way of using the attention is by attracting more international superstars to come across to Australia and play in the W-League. Since the inception of the women’s league we have had numerous overseas footballers come and play in our domestic competition.
From the USA’s Megan Rapinoe to Lisa-Maree Woods of Norway and English forward Jodie Taylor the W-League has seen some of the best international stars play in our teams.
Even last season reigning World Player of the Year and captain of the German national team played for Brisbane Roar!
The amount of international talent that has come through and played in our domestic competition further emphasises not only the quality of our league but also the desirability to play in it.
With more international players coming and going in the W-League there are hopes that this will not only draw bigger crowds but also provide our Australian footballers to be apart of their journey and learn from their experiences.
The W-League is one of the best competitions in the world and has the potential to be number one.
I’d love you to attend a game in the upcoming W-League season to not only watch our homegrown talent but also watch some of the world’s best play the beautiful game on our turf.
See you there,
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