No Australian side has ever been better placed to succeed at a World Cup.

Despite consecutive losses to World Cup opponents, the Matildas – on paper at least – have all the ingredients to do well in the upcoming tournament.

The squad has a wealth of experience with an average age of 26 and 11 players in the squad with over 70 international appearances – the most experienced being Lisa De Vanna at 34.

This generation of Matildas is very much a golden generation.

They have driven significant change in Australian women’s football, pioneering a rise in the W-League and reinvigorating Australia’s love for its national team.

Sam Kerr, 25, Tameka Yallop, 27, Alannah Kennedy, 24, and Elise Kellond-Knight, 28, are just a sample of some of the firepower within the squad – most of whom are at their peak.

This is complimented by youth like Ellie Carpenter, 19 and Mary Fowler, 16 – the latter of whom will look at the tournament as an opportunity to establish herself on the world stage.

Carpenter meanwhile will play her first in her first World Cup – having already represented the Matildas at the Olympics.

The 19-year-old has become a fan favourite domestically and internationally and is expected to break out at the tournament in France, being a viable option in defence as well as an attack on the right-hand side.

She faced an arduous task in the recent pre-tournament friendly against the Dutch, marking 2017 FIFA Women’s player of the year and FC Barcelona superstar Lieke Martens.

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The Matildas looked vulnerable down the flanks against their much-fancied opposition, with the Dutch proving far too strong in their attacking third.

Despite conceding eight goals in their last two matches against World Cup opposition, there are still plenty of positives.

Under Ante Milicic the team has adopted an aggressive style, forcing the highly ranked United States into uncharacteristic turnovers and still managed to put three goals past the reigning World Champions.

The Matildas may not face competition of that calibre in the group stage with the squad set to face Italy, Jamaica and Brazil – who the Matildas have not lost to since the 2014 Olympics.

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athossirianos
athos.sirianos@gmail.com
First year Journalism student at RMIT University. Looking to get the truth out while having a bit of fun.