Matildas at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Jo Peters give us her thoughts on there arrival in China
Friday 7th Sept - 5 sleeps to first game
We're here! The Matildas have landed in the chosen land of the World Cup for 2007 - China. After a five day camp in Sydney and a send-off night to remember, we arrived at our specific location, Hangzhou. The tidy city welcomed us with surprisingly blues skies, pleasant waterways and creative architecture.
An overnight flight from Sydney left us baggy-eyed and with an initial quiet and contemplative realisation of the journey that lay before us as we drove to our hotel. The mood soon changed though as we pulled up to our hotel and a great cheer was let out. Don't assume the cheer was a chant for the anticipated World Cup glory, but instead an excitement of a Starbucks being spotted only footsteps away! Such is the environment of our team. Now don't doubt our passion and focus for the game and what we're here to do, but it's encased with a relaxed freedom and enjoyment of sharing the smaller parts of the journey as well that makes me love being in the Matildas.
Greetings from FIFA officials and World Cup banners stated our arrival. "Beautiful game. Beautiful goals" is the slogan and an appropriate one if I can add the obvious omission as a team of " Beautiful Girls" strut their stuff through the lobby in our Ted Baker suits and complementing new hair-dos.
But glamour very quickly took a back seat as boots replaced pointers and hair pulled back, we got down to business on the field with the usual light, loosening up session. Very important for the treatment of what I like to call 'elephant-itus' (when your legs are swollen from the long plane flight) and also to generally wake up from the night's travel. The delirium usually sets in at the following pool session where our poor physio Kate tries to lead a recovery routine but instead cops our behavioural transformation from a professional women's team into a silly group of school girls, splashing, singing and trying to rebel the instructions. Certainly provides some good laughs for us girlys and Kate's a good sport with it all!
So it's the usual routine for the Matildas as we settle in for what seems like any other tour adventure. But you don't have to tell us it's a little different. That it's only the biggest women's sporting event in the world. We're passionate, positive and prepared for something special. But this Matildas adventure is in God's hands, and whether our destiny is glory or gloom, there's no other place I'd rather be... this is the World Cup!