On a sunny Thursday afternoon in the south of France, Chloe Logarzo scored her first FIFA Women’s World Cup goal. It was an equaliser against archrival Brazil. And in celebration Logarzo stood tall, fists on hips, like Superwoman.
It’s a moment now synonymous with the Miracle of Montpellier. But it’s also one of the standout moments in the life of the first ever Westfield Matildas kit, made solely for them.
Ahead of the launch of the new National Teams Kit, players and fans reflect on what this kit means to them.
It will always be a special kit for Logarzo and not just because of its connection to her World Cup goal.
“I would like to say to the kit, thank you for inspiring the next generation of female footballers and the next generation in general. You're the first kit for the Matildas to ever be just for us.” Logarzo said.
Honestly, I don't think anyone really understands how much that meant to every single one of us to be able to put on a jersey that was made for us to inspire everyone else."
“To be able to see people around Australia wearing our jersey, it was like they were putting it on with us for the World Cup.”
Walking around the streets of France, us Aussies fans were a loud mass wherever we went — visually and audibly. Green and gold aren’t exactly subtle colours, and the design was as bold and proud as the team that wore it on the biggest stage.
The French locals must’ve thought we were crazy, but there was something so special about the knowing look you’d share with someone who was also wearing the kit. There was familiarity, camaraderie, the instant recognition that we belonged to the same tribe and were so easily identifiable.
A kit just for the Westfield Matildas was a sign of progress as much as anything else.
The first Westfield Matildas kit I ever bought had ‘We Socceroos can do the impossible’ hidden on the inside of the neck. I loved the kit. I wore it many times. But I had just watched Australia finish second in their group at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. I fell in love with the team and the way they went about their football. And I wanted a kit that included that team.
It wasn’t an uncommon thing. The first ‘A’ international in 1979 saw Australia wear youth boys’ jerseys they had borrowed to take on New Zealand. At their debut FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1995, the team wore spare Socceroos jerseys in men’s sizes that needed to be altered to fit.
Forty years on from the first ‘A’ international, the team would be decked out in a kit all of their own.
“It just goes to show how much football's come a long way in Australia for females and how much we've inspired the next generation that they've willingly given us our own jersey. It's an incredible feeling. And it was such a beautiful jersey to put on”, Logarzo said.
It’s hard to describe how much it meant to have a kit that was made just for the team. For Logarzo it’s bigger than the kit itself
“I don't think if you were to ask anyone in the national team if they would have ever thought that would have been possible, and for that to happen to us is incredible."
I don't think any of us really know how to put it into words. And for me how emotional it makes me to realise that that's just our jersey, it has our names on the back, and people wanted to buy that for us.”
Football kits act as a cultural timestamp and instantly trigger memories of moments and places. This one is no different, though they’re slightly different for fans and players.
The jersey was the second Westfield Matildas kit I ever bought. It had ‘Never Say Die’ hidden on the neck and ‘Kellond-Knight 8’ on the back. I packed it in my suitcase and travelled to France for what would be my first FIFA Women’s World Cup.
When I look at it, I remember the pure excitement of jumping on a bus to Valenciennes one Sunday morning, excited as a kid on Christmas day. I remember the Miracle of Montpellier and Logarzo’s Superwoman pose.
I remember the nervous anticipation of a couple hundred Australians taking over a pub in Nice, spilling out onto the streets, chanting and trying to make the passing cars beep their horns. I remember the photos of lifelong friends, all of us wearing the exact same kit.
For Logarzo, it will always be a precious memento of her playing days. She’ll have photos and videos of herself playing in that kit, armed with a bunch of stories to tell.
“Hopefully, it is now a timepiece for us that we can go back when we're however old and say to our kids or our grandkids, you know, we were the first Matildas to ever get our own jersey and this was the first one.”