SYDNEY, June 28 (Reuters) – Australia defender Ellie Carpenter believes the Matildas can win the Women’s World Cup in 2023 now they have the advantage of playing the tournament on home soil.
FIFA awarded co-hosting rights for the ninth Women’s World Cup to Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, generating huge excitement among those involved in the game in the region. “There’s only one thing that could possibly top the feeling we all had when the announcement was made that we are going to host the World Cup and that’s winning the trophy on home soil,” Carpenter wrote in a column in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.
“It’s crazy to think what it would be like because it would be a dream come true, but I really believe it’s reachable because that extra buzz from playing at home is going to be a big advantage.
“It has already given everyone in the Matildas extra motivation because everyone wants to be involved in a World Cup in our backyard.”
Australia are currently ranked seventh in the world in the FIFA rankings and although they won the Asian Cup in 2010, they have never got past the quarter-finals at the World Cup.
Carpenter, who made her Matildas debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and recently joined European powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, thinks co-hosting the World Cup will be a watershed for the women’s game Down Under.
“I really believe this is going to be a turning point for women’s football in Australia because it’s going to inspire so many people,” the right back added.
“I was only about eight or nine years old when I first watched the Matildas, and I said to myself that I want to be on that field one day, so for the next generation of kids to see us in a World Cup, that’s going to be so sick.”