The team are currently ranked sixth in the world, after USA, Germany, England, France and Canada. They are gunning for the top spot.
By
Sarah Malik

3 Jun 2019 - 12:01 PM  UPDATED 4 Jun 2019 - 8:50 AM

As the country rallies around the Matildas ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, here's five things you didn't know about the Aussie women's soccer team. 

Their dream? To be Number 1

The team are currently ranked sixth in the world, after USA, Germany, England, France and Canada. They want to push up that ranking and host the next World Cup in 2023. 

"I think my dream for women's football in Australia would be that people become aware of how good we really are. Hopefully to be one of the top one or two ranked nations in the world (and) to host the world cup in 2023," the team said in a promotional video on Twitter.

The team was also passionate about promoting equal opportunities for girls in sport.

"Inspire young girls and boys around Australia to follow their dream (with) girls given the same opportunities as boys in terms of career pathways." 

They are gunning for a medal:  'We are no longer dreaming'

When Matilda Elise Kellond-Knight got the call up that she'd been handpicked for the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, it was the realisation of a childhood dream.

"I remember watching as a kid the men's World Cup because at the time the women's game wasn't
really on the TV and accessible," she said in the official video. 

Kellond-Knight said playing in her first World Cup made her hopeful the women's game was reaching a new level of professionalism with stadiums and crowds 'a step above' what she had been used to.

"We are definitely no longer dreaming. It's a reality...I'd like our fans to feel to sense a hope. This is probably one our best chances at a medal."

"There are no words to describe the feeling of winning. It's what you've dedicated your entire life to. We put minutes and hours every single day to achieve this one dream."

Their inspirational promo video will have you pumped

The Matildas mic-dropping ad introducing the 23-member team will have you fist-pumping in your chair. The ad features the team in soccer power-poses that reflect their strength and agility.

They have a song dedicated to them 

Nike has made a song dedicated to the team, titled “Everything We Ever Dreamed Of”.

The song with lyrics and music by Australian artists Ninajirachi, KLP, Kota Banks and Nina Las Vegas is an inspirational anthem dedicated to the team's journey to the World Cup.

The song was released on Spotify on May 30. 

First Indigenous player Kyah Simon wants to leave a legacy

Kyah Simon is the first Indigenous player to score a goal at a World Cup for the national women's team, in 2011. She says it is an honour she doesn't take lightly. 

“Being the first indigenous male or female to score at a World Cup is an honour for me," she told The Women's Game. 

“The legacy I want to leave is to be a positive role model for young girls out there." 

Simon's family who hails from Quakers Hill in Sydney's west, battled discrimination and poverty to help her achieve her dream of becoming a Matilda. The family once drove thousands of kilometres across the country between Brisbane and Perth to see her play when they couldn't afford the airfare.

"I know now that every time I pull on the Matildas jersey, it’s for my family. As I see it, the jersey is as much theirs as mine. We all contributed to the journey that led us to here," she wrote for the Player's Voice.  

Simon's grandmother was taken from her family as a child to work as a housemaid, before running away at 14 and surviving on housing commission estates. 

"Money was very tight. Mum didn’t own a new pair of shoes until she was 14...they encountered discrimination on an almost daily basis on account of their Indigenous heritage."

"Mum says my achievements are the results of sacrifices from generation-to-generation – from nan’s fight for a better life for her family, to the decisions my parents made along the way, to the youth and family time I have given up in pursuit of my football."

Simon who has been plagued with injury, will not be playing in the 2019 World Cup, but her presence on the team has been an inspiration to aspiring Indigenous players. 

“That's the biggest legacy that I want to leave. I just want to be an example that even if you have setbacks, that you can bounce back, and it's up to you, as an individual to get yourself back and believe in yourself at the end of the day.”

 

SBS is covering the biggest games of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™  tournament, live, free and in HD across television, radio and online. From June 8, watch or stream all Matildas games, the opening match, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final on SBS.

All SBS live matches, replays and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Today™ daily highlights show will be available to enjoy anytime and anywhere at SBS On Demand.

All 52 matches will be live on SBS Radio in multiple languages and  The World Game website and app will stream all SBS matches live alongside the latest scores, video highlights, breaking news, and analysis.

Fans can also join the #WorldGameLIVE discussion show on Twitter, from 5.30pm AEST* each match day.

SBS is presenting the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ in partnership with Optus Sport.

 

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