Matildas midfielder has eye on Cup glory
In a little under three months the Matildas will look to end an 11-year drought at the Asian Cup in India. It means these two matches against Brazil take on special significance.
Emily van Egmond has returned to the Matildas fold with her club career settled and a determination to help Australia win the AFC Asian Women’s Cup for the first time since 2010.
The 28-year-old midfielder was missing when the Matildas lost 3-2 to Ireland last month in Dublin.
Without a club following her decision in May to leave English Women’s Super League outfit West Ham, van Egmond returned home after Australia’s Tokyo Olympics campaign in August.
“I quarantined and then I just spent some time with my family,” said the Newcastle product, who has since rejoined American club Orlando Pride.
“I had a few things going on with my club and trying to sort out my visa … I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind.
“I had to travel overseas to get a visa, a quick stop in America. I was only there for a couple of days but it was good.
“Thankfully, that’s figured out now.”
As is the Matildas being able to again play on home soil.
Australia’s two-match series against Brazil, which starts on Saturday night in Sydney, will be the Matildas’ first games at home since March, 2020.
“I’m super excited to be back here in Australia. We are so fortunate to be able to play home games again and we can’t wait to see everyone come out for the game,” van Egmond said.
“All the girls are buzzing.”
The series is important step on the road to the January 20-February 6 Asian Cup in India.
The Matildas haven’t won the tournament in 11 years and were beaten finalists in 2006, 2014 and 2018.
“The Asian Cup is the focus at the moment – it’s just right around the corner,” van Egmond said.
“We’ve obviously got the 2023 World Cup as well which is always in the back of our mind, so every FIFA window, every game we get is an opportunity to get ourselves better and I know the girls are excited to do so.
“Every game from here on out is really important.”
Van Egmond, who has 106 appearances in a Matildas career dating back to 2010, is pleased with the emergence of some younger talent in Australia’s squad.
“It’s so important. That’s just how the cycle goes within Australian football and within world football.” she said.
“To have the young ones come in and get the experience is what you want.
“They’ve proven themselves to be here and it’s fantastic, and hopefully coming into this environment … it’s competition, (and spots) up for grabs.”
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