Socceroos give Matildas a boost
Matildas coach Tom Sermanni says the performances of the Socceroos during their FIFA World Cup campaign has given his team a boost ahead of tomorrow’s crucial opening qualifying match for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Korea Republic at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.
Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni says the performances of the Socceroos during their FIFA World Cup campaign has given his team a boost ahead of tomorrow-s crucial opening qualifying match for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup against Korea Republic at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.
The nine-nation AFC Women-s Asian Cup doubles as the qualifying tournament for 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup which will be played in China. The tournament will be the first hosted by Australia since its entry into the Asian Football Confederation on 1 January 2006.
“The Socceroos have shown the team what can be achieved at international level if a group of players are organized, focused and are working together and that has given us a huge boost and helped our self-belief,” says Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
“The Socceroos performances and results both at the World Cup and in qualifying have given the team extra confidence and shown the way for Australian teams as to how to be successful in a high quality international environment."
The Qantas Matildas have been grouped with Korea Republic, DPR Korea (North Korea), Myanmar and Thailand with two teams progressing to the second round.
The top two teams of the AFC Women-s Asian Cup will qualify automatically for the FIFA Women's World Cup, while the third placed team will earn the right to play-off against the third placed CONCACAF team for a World Cup spot. If China - who have already qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup as hosts - finishes among the top three of the AFC Women-s Asian Cup 2006, then the fourth placed team will instead take part in this play-off.
The Qantas Matildas will expect to start their campaign at full strength following the team-s final training session today.
It has been a thorough preparation for the team having played 15 international matches in the last 12 months plus a number of camps at the Australian Institute of Sport.
“We have been building and working towards this tournament since we learnt Australia would become members of Asia so it has been a lengthy preparation process,” said Sermanni.
“The players are looking forward to being involved in the tournament and testing our skills in what will be a very competitive environment.
“Recent qualifying tournaments haven-t provided us with enough competitive matches and we have tended to qualify fairly easily, but then going into the major tournaments we have tended to be viewed very much as outsiders and underdogs and basically performed as such.
“What we have now is the chance to participate in a tough and very difficult path to the World Cup, but one that if and when we qualify, we will go into the tournament as definite contenders.”
The Australian team is relatively young with an average age of 23 with five players also members of the Qantas Young Matildas squad that will compete in next month-s FIFA U-20 Women-s World Championship in Russia. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams and midfielders Leah Blayney, Kylie Ledbrook, Collette McCallum and Sally Shipard all featuring in the squad that qualified in Malaysia.
“Despite the team-s relative youth, our team is fairly experienced and they will certainly not be going into the tournament overawed," says Sermanni.
“Overall the tournament will be difficult and very tough but I feel that there is a confidence amongst the team that will make us a very difficult team to both play against and to beat.”
Group A contains China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Vietnam with the 15 day tournament to be played entirely in Adelaide concluding with the final at Hindmarsh Stadium on July 30.
16 Jul 06 (Sun) - Myanmar v Thailand - Hindmarsh Stadium - 12:00 noon 16 Jul 06 (Sun) - Australia v Korea Republic - Hindmarsh Stadium - 14:30pm
All First round Tickets: Adults - $5; 16 and under - free
Further Qantas Matildas information including player profiles is available at the following link:-
Further tournament information is available at the AFC tournament website:-
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