Time To Make a Statement Says Sermanni

Qantas Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni says now is the time for the team to make a statement to World Football.

Qantas Matildas Head Coach Tom Sermanni says now is the time for the team to make a statement to World Football.   Speaking after today's draw for the 2006 Asian Football Confederation Women's Championships, Sermanni (pictured right) confessed that the squad were committed to making a huge breakthrough at international level.   "We've been talking as a group about how important it is for us as a national team to make an impression on the world stage," said Sermanni.   "We have gone to World Championships and Olympic Games qualifying through Oceania but now we are in Asia and it is not going to be easy.   "In the past we have only once made it out of the pool stages at a major world tournament and you reach a stage where you need to make a significant breakthrough and we believe that time is now.   "We want to take the opportunity of playing in the Asian Championships and if we then qualify out of that for the World Championships we will have earned it in a really tough competition and it will prepare us better than ever before for the big time."   Sermanni has one match and a training camp scheduled for the team in the lead in to July's AFC Women's Championships which will be played in Adelaide.    "We have a match against Mexico at the MCG as a double header with the Socceroos and it will give our girls a great chance to experience a home town crowd on a big occasion," said Sermanni.   "Most of the team have not been able to enjoy a home town crowd with a big occasion in a big tournament and the match against the Mexicans is ideal to prepare us for the Asian Championships."   Sermanni pointed to the recent success of the Qantas Young Matildas who scored a dramatic 3-2 win over Japan earlier this week to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship as an example of how their big tournament experience will assist his team.   "There are a few of the Qantas Young Matildas that will be included in the squad for Adelaide," added Sermanni.   "The experience they gained from a very tough tournament and some high pressure situations will be valuable for them as they move to senior level."