Returning to the CommBank Matildas squad after a quad injury kept her out of the October FIFA international window, midfielder Emily van Egmond spoke to the media today ahead of the first training session in Melbourne / Naarm.
With a majority of the team still in transit after the weekend’s European matches, six players hit the training track as the team returned to Victoria for the first time since 2019.
"Obviously I had a little bit of a quad issue last time, so wasn't able to make the trip. But happy to be here, happy to be back in Australia. Melbourne is putting on some warm weather, which is always nice."
The midfielder has just wrapped up her season in the NWSL, where she helped San Diego Wave make history by sealing a spot in the postseason, becoming the first expansion side to do so in their inaugural season.
"We've had a long season. It's a tough season. So definitely feeling that a little bit. But happy to be back here with the CommBank Matildas and I can't wait for the rest of the team to arrive"
The quad injury that ruled Van Egmond out of Australia's games against South Africa and Denmark in the October FIFA International window saw some familiar faces impress in midfield.
"Every team you're a part of, you want to have healthy competition and that's really going to drive the team to be the best that it can be," Van Egmond said.
Elise Kellond-Knight makes her return to the national team set up after a knee injury saw the 113-capped CommBank Matilda on the sidelines for over two years, with her last national team appearance coming against Vietnam in the Olympic qualifiers back in March 2020.
"I think that's a good challenge and one that the group definitely needs. I think (I need) consistency and I'll just continue to be myself and at the end of the day help to contribute to the team however I can."
Saturday's blockbuster game against Sweden will be the first time Blågult will set foot on Australian shores in almost 20 years, with the last meeting at the AWSA Australian Cup on 1 February 2008 in Canberra.
"They're a physical team. They've got some of the world's best players, so it will definitely be a challenge. We won't take them lightly van Egmond said.
"It's a good opportunity to practice before the World Cup as the prep starts to ramp up now, that's the main objective."
SEVEN CONSULTING INTERNATIONAL SERIES
CommBank Matildas v Sweden
Date: Saturday, 12 November 2022
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 2:45 pm AEDT
Broadcast: Network 10, 10 Play and Paramount+
CommBank Matildas v Thailand
Date: Tuesday, 15 November 2022
Location: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7.30 pm AEDT
Broadcast: 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+