The Matildas defeated Argentina 3-0 in their final game on Australian shores before the FIFA Women’s World Cup – taking out the inaugural ‘Cup of Nations’ in the process. I caught up with the Captain Sam Kerr after the match.
What did you make of the game?
“The tournament’s been really enjoyable, I think Ante’s brought a really professional environment in.
“The first two games were really good but tonight it was a bit tougher, the opponent was dropping off and that’s a new challenge but we got the result and won 3-0 so that’s a positive.”
Did you know much about Ante Milicic before he took on the role?
“To be honest I had heard a few things about him but I didn’t know who he was. I knew he’d worked with Ange and was close with Popa [Tony Popovic] so I knew he’d be a good coach.
“I had no expectations but he’s been unreal. Really professional, really forward and open to everyone and the girls really appreciate that so it’s been an enjoyable week.”
Are you enjoying the responsibility of being Captain now?
“I like it, yeah it’s a bit of a goosebump moment when you’re walking out with the girls behind you, it’s a really cool thing I didn’t really think about it that much, but then when it happened it changed my perspective and I’m really enjoying it.”
How good is it to have the Cup of Nations leading into the Women’s World Cup?
“We love playing in Australia so it’s nice we have our own little tournament.
“It’s the perfect timing obviously with the World Cup around the corner – South Korea, New Zealand and Argentina – they’re all going to the World Cup and will be tough teams so it was amazing to play in front of a home crowd but just amazing to get games in.”
Do you ever wake up and think ‘look at how far I’ve come?’
“Ah not yet, maybe soon in my career when I achieve a bit more. Obviously I look at how far women’s football has come, but I’ll leave the look at what I’ve done ’til when I’ve retired.”
What’s the focus now for you and the team?
“For myself it’s to keep fit and healthy and stay as in-form as I can. As a team we just want to keep building, we don’t have much longer together so it’s going to be jam-packed but that’s why we love Ante, he just organises everything to a tee and it feels under control.”
Is holding the World Cup realistic?
“One hundred percent! Lifting that trophy today, we all said we can’t wait. It just drives us more. You don’t get to lift silverware often, we enjoyed that one tonight. It’s definitely realistic, we are 6th in the world and anyone can win it once you get to the quarters and semis.
“But we’re just focusing on the group really, it can be really, really tough to get out of the group. We’ve seen crazy things happen with the men’s World Cup with Germany knocked out so the group stage is what we’re talking about right now.”