Sam Kerr's challenge to Westfield Matildas fans
Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr has set fans attending Saturday afternoon’s Seven Consulting International Series fixture against Chile in Penrith a challenge: be louder than last year.
A sell-out crowd watched on in Penrith in 2017 as the Westfield Matildas beat Brazil 2-1 thanks to a Kerr header and a stunning Lisa de Vanna strike from distance.
The result and atmosphere provided Kerr with a day “none of us girls will ever forget” and the forward has called on fans to make even more noise this weekend.
“We love playing in Australia, because they [crowd] really get behind us,” Kerr said on Friday.
“Any time we get to play in front of a home crowd, it’s an amazing feeling and singing the national anthem gives you chills.
“Hopefully we can top last year. Last year was an unbelievable experience for us and something none of us girls will ever forget.”
Kerr, who described the training sessions in the lead-up to the two-match series against Chile as “tough”, said the South American nation should provide a different sort of challenge for the Westfield Matildas than they have faced in recent months.
“They’re a crafty team, they’re more like Brazil than a USA or an England,” she said.
“They’re tricky on the ball, they love to do all those tricks, shoot from anywhere, so we can’t switch off for any moment.
“They’ve got players that can beat you like that.
“It’s going to be a tough game but being Australian, we expect to win. Being the higher ranked nation, we definitely expect to win."
While the Westfield Matildas sit sixth in the FIFA rankings, Chile are 39th.
But Australia coach Alan Stajcic said that ranking is not a fair reflection of Chile’s ability.
“Chile’s an up and coming team,” he said.
“They’re actually better than their ranking suggests.
“The talent there is phenomenal, the skill level is phenomenal and for us, to test ourselves against a South American team who really do have that flair and individual technique and passion and emotion … it’s a really good challenge in terms of playing against different style, different types of players.
“It will give us a good gauge of some of the different styles we’ll have to come up against in the World Cup [next year].”