De Vanna: I want to inspire the girls

There are few players who bleed green and gold like Lisa De Vanna.

The 33-year-old, who has 142 caps for the Westfield Matildas, is gunning for her fourth consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup in France next year.

And ahead of two vital pre-tournament friendlies against Chile next week, De Vanna has called for Alen Stajcic's side to make Australia proud in front of their home fans.

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"When people describe me, I'm emotional but I'm very passionate when I wear the shirt, and that's the one thing I want to inspire the girls with," said De Vanna.

"You've got to have heart when you play for your country because you're representing all the old Westfield Matildas and future Westfield Matildas.

"It's no greater honour to go out on the field and do something you love, and I've been privileged to have a pathway, and it's only getting better for them and they should not take it for granted, I always want to make that clear.

"It's great that we have 17,000 people [coming to watch against Chile], we're going to a FIFA Women's World Cup - that's a dream for every other person that wants to achieve those goals. I'm an emotional player, I love playing for my country, so every time I hear the national anthem I always get goosebumps. 

The Westfield Matildas will play two friendlies against Chile. The first is at Panthers Stadium on Saturday, November 10 at 3:30pm (AEDT), followed by a 7:30pm (AEDT) kick-off at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday, November 13. 

First time for everything

Chile will feature on the world stage for the first time in France, and are therefore somewhat of an unknown quantity to fans. 

However, this matters little according to De Vanna, who believes Australia were in a similar position back in 1995 before their inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup. 

"It could go two ways: you can either choke and be intimidated, or you've got nothing to lose and you go out and play and give it everything," said De Vanna.

"I think they'll come out and want to make a statement, especially at home and moving forward, just like us, going to the FIFA Women's World Cup."


Although France 2019 is approaching quickly, De Vanna refuses to look too far ahead to what would be her fourth straight appearance at the FIFA Women's World Cup.

But the veteran feels more than ready to perform for the Westfield Matildas, should she get the call up. 

"I'll just chip away, I've got to get my place first," said De Vanna. 

"Right now - body and mentally - I'm in a very good head space and that's more important for me because as you get older, you've got to keep that drive, and to have that your mind has to be clear and it's been a while since I've had that.

"So it's great to be back and have the good core of girls in the team."

The Westfield Matildas face Chile at Panthers Stadium on Saturday, November 10 at 3:30pm. Click here to purchase tickets. Or, click here to purchase tickets to the second game at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30pm. 

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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