Westfield Matildas boss Ante Milicic has been impressed by the high standards of his squad after an intensive first week of training in Turkey before the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The players have been pushed to their limits in Antalya as the opening game of the tournament against Italy on June 9 draws near.
Milicic put his squad through another rigorous session on Saturday before the players will get a well-earned rest before the pre-France friendly against the Netherlands.
And the Milicic says the continual improvement in the squad since they have been together has been evident as they edge closer to peak form for the World Cup.
“They (the players) have set high standards from the start,” Milicic told www.matildas.com.au.
“They all came in at different stages, a little bit staggered due to their commitments with their clubs.
“We had to work the first few days having individualised programs for the majority of them, but now everyone is up to speed and training together and working really well. So I am happy with the work that they have done.”
Of course, that work is only going to ramp up in coming days as they side edges closer to France, although there’s also the friendly clash with the Netherlands on June 2 (AEST) for the team to look forward to.
Milicic described the clash with the Netherlands as “very important” and believes it will be the ideal test for his side.
“They are a top 10 nation and they probably have one of the strongest strike-forces in the world, if not in the world definitely Europe, they have a very strong front three,” the Westfield Matildas boss said.
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“Netherlands at home is always going to be a difficult game for us, but that is what we want and I am sure that the girls are looking forward to it. It is the day that the Champions League men’s final is on in the night and the way Dutch women’s football is going forward there will be a great crowd there.
“It is a good test for us and at the same time it gets us to realise that this is the final hit out before Italy so huge importance on that game.”
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FIFA Women’s 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)