My Westfield Matildas Story: Laura Alleway - 'I was freaking out'

Laura Alleway remembers the child-like excitement that engulfed her first away tour with the Westfield Matildas - a trip to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, no less.

It's fair to say roles have reversed for the Melbourne Victory defender nearly eight years on, as the 29-year-old enters France 2019 as one of the chief defensive leaders in Ante Milicic's 23-player squad.

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The Templestowe-born centre back – who rose through the Westfield W-League ranks in 2008 with the Victory – will certainly be a valuable mentor for some of the Westfield Matildas' younger faces.

After all, rubbing shoulders with experienced internationals and facing the pressure of stepping out on the World Cup stage as an emerging national team player is exactly what Alleway did as a 21-year-old at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Laura Alleway shares a joke with Alanna Kennedy on the first day in camp
Alleway shares a joke with defender Alanna Kennedy at camp

“My very first World Cup was my first ever away tour with the Matildas,” Alleway recalls.

“I didn’t really know how to take it, everyone was quite calm, the girls were quite a lot older than I for the most part.

“I was like an excited kid in the playground and needed to put a lid on my excitement as much as possible, because I had to act as though I was meant to be there and that it was all just normal... but on the inside I was freaking out!”

Watch the full interview with Alleway in the video at the top of the page.

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World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches

Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)

Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)

Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)

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