Matildas young goalkeeper Brianna Davey recounts her European experience after her 10-day international tour with the national side.
Europe was so cool. It was definitely different to anything else I've experienced whilst on tour as during my time on the team I have predominantly been to Asian countries. It had the most beautiful views and amazing buildings and while it was a little similar to back home everything seemed more traditional and "old-school".
I couldn't really put my finger on what was my favourite experience in Europe but one standout probably would have to be the 10,000 strong crowd when we played France. They were all so vibrant and into football and in particular the fact that they were so supportive of the women's team was really impressive. I only hope that in years to come the Australian crowds will start to grow like that!
Playing France, the team ranked 6th in the world was definitely a little daunting. Taking on such great players and such a great team is always going to raise the nerves a little. But as the underdog I guess we had nothing to lose, so for me going out there and doing everything I could to do my job for the team was the aim.
Keeping composed against a team like France and in front of a big crowd of 10,000 people I guess comes through a bit of experience. In 2012 I played in goals against the USA twice, when I earned my second and third caps for the Matildas. We played in front of a crowd of 20,000 plus people and against a powerhouse team of women's football. That experience has definitely helped me in other games going forward including this latest match with France.
The hardest thing about big crowds is the struggle to communicate with your teammates because they can hardly hear you over the screams of the crowd. This is particularly difficult for a goalkeeper because a big part of our job is talking to the defenders and keeping the defence block in shape to protect the goals.
One of the best things about football and playing for the Matilda's is that you get to spend heaps of time and travel to all different parts of the world with some of your best mates. Besides football, off the pitch we need to find things to entertain ourselves with the spare time we've got which isn't easy because usually we're cooped up in our little rooms.
My roomie and I kept entertained by making pointless snapchat videos and sending them to our friends back home (or sometimes our teammates next door who would knock on our door half an hour later not impressed because we've sent them over 50 pointless and random videos of ourselves). We thought it was pretty funny.
I will never forget this trip as it has given me the experience of something different. Europe was unique to anywhere else I've ever been and I loved it! I am definitely going to go back on a holiday one day.
Signing off for now, Brianna Davey
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