Emily van Egmond has enjoyed some rare time at home in preparation for the Matildas’ two-game series against the USA.
The best part of three weeks at home in Newcastle has Matildas star Emily van Egmond refreshed and ready for the challenge of beating the world’s top-ranked women’s team, the USA.
While most of the Matildas squad are only arriving home this week from their European club duties ahead of the two-game Australia-USA series starting Saturday night in Sydney, van Egmond has been able to spend valuable time with family and friends, as well as train with the women’s Newcastle Jets side.
“It’s been nice with the hot weather and being able to adjust to the time zone,” said van Egmond, who plays her club football with American side Orlando Pride.
“I feel really good. I was here before I went to the US, so I’ve got a good bulk of training in here. Even though it was lockdown, I was able to focus on a lot of stuff I needed to in that time.
“I’ve also been fortunate enough to jump in with the Jets girls and train because they’re in pre-season, as well as doing a few sessions on my own.”
While the US squad will include a host of younger players, van Egmond said the Matildas would still face a stern test in the series, which includes a game in Newcastle next Tuesday night.
“Regardless of whatever names come, with the USA we always know it’s going to be really tough; a good challenge for us, but one that we’re up for,” she said.
“I know the girls are really excited. The USA is world number one, so there’s no better opposition to be challenged by and have really good games against here in Australia.”
The series will serve as ideal preparation for the Matildas’ quest for success at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup starting in January in India.
“We’re going there to win it,” van Egmond said.
“It’s a great tournament – you play against some quality opposition.
“The team takes great pride to be the best team in Asia.”
Van Egmond said the Matildas were still feeling the hurt of missing out on a medal at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
It was the USA who denied the Australians a medal, beating the Matildas 4-3 in the battle for bronze.
“We were competing for a bronze medal in the end, which is huge for us,” van Egmond said.
“We were disappointed not to come away with a medal, but it’s a huge credit … to everyone involved to get that far.”