Cortnee Vine: it's crazy to think I could be wearing the green and gold soon
Cortnee Vine's exceptional A-League Women's form has been rewarded with the Sydney FC striker earning a spot in the 23-player Commonwealth Bank Matildas squad for the AFC Women's Asian Cup.
"I'm very overwhelmed. It's amazing, something I didn't really expect to happen. But I couldn't have asked for a better outcome from this pre-camp in Dubai," Vine said right after finding out she had made the cut.
"I'm absolutely stoked. Still very overwhelmed. It's feeling very surreal."
The 23-year-old has plied her trade across Australia, spending time at Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Sydney FC and has been on the national team radar for a while.
"We've been actually keeping an eye on [her] for a long time," Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson explained.
"Cortnee was about to be selected all the way back in April last year when I was appointed as a coach in January but I couldn't bring in Australian players at the time and then there were some injuries for her."
When selecting this squad, Gustavsson and the Commonwealth Bank Matildas coaching staff looked at how players had performed in club land, how the players had adjusted to the national team environment, and what they could bring to the team at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.
In Vine, Gustavsson sees someone who could be crucial in unlocking compact and tightly stacked defences.
"She's proven herself in the A-League, if you look at stats and look at her performances. Her ability to take on players one-on-one and break that last line, meaning the backline, and either get the ball into the goal zone or take herself into the goal zone, has been impressive. That's definitely her weapon," Gustavsson said.
"But the one thing that impresses me is how quickly she has absorbed and adjusted to the tactics we have here and her tactical understanding off the ball has been really good."
Vine's selection came off the back of an exceptional start to the A-League Women's season with Sydney FC where she scored four goals and provided two assists in six games.
She credits that strong start with holding her in good stead during the camp in Dubai and helping her mix it with the likes of Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, and Hayley Raso.
"I think I've kept up," she said with a laugh.
"I think I've held myself with a lot of pride and confidence going into this camp. Obviously coming off that A-League start to the season I'm feeling pretty high on life right now. So going in now was a good time to go in, I think. And I've definitely brought that with me on the way," she explained.
Her approach to life in camp and the national team setup echoes the sentiments of one of Gustavsson's key philosophies: getting one day better.
And now that she is in the squad she is ready to give her all to the team in whatever way they may need her.
"In terms of on the field, I'd love to obviously make my debut that would be amazing. And at the Asian Cup as well. It's just surreal. I don't really know what to say.
"I just want to prove that I can come on and make a difference or start potentially, you gotta aim high in these situations I think, and it's going to help the team by pushing in those sessions as well."
While Vine continues to process the news, the goal for the next few weeks is clear: make her Australian debut.
"I think everyone wants to wear that green and gold and the fact that I could be doing that soon is just crazy."