Van Egmond opens up

Sally Shipard and Westfield Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond go one-on-one about the new Matildas structure and football philosophies.

Sally Shipard and Westfield Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond go one-on-one about the new Matildas structure and football philosophies.

SS: You guys have been in camp for a couple of days now, the first game tomorrow against New Zealand. How have preparations gone so far?

EVE: Everyone is soaking it all in really, we all can-t wait to put our last few months of training in to practice. I know it will be a great game. We have seen a lot of footage of New Zealand, we are familiar with their playing style & structure. In the general scheme of things, preparations are going really well.

SS: How are you settling in with the appointment of your new head coach, Hesterine?

EVE: It is very different, Hesterine has introduced a new playing structure & it-s been interesting to see us all embrace the change. It really is another challenge & I think we are all adjusting. She has brought a lot of new things to the table, that I believe are really good & positive. Within our new playing structure, there is a huge emphasis on possession & I think the girls are adapting really well, it is exciting times.

SS: Being the play maker in the middle of the park do you feel as though your role is complimented by the new playing system? Do you find you get more of the ball for example...

EVE: My game hasn-t changed too much. It is really good for me to play centrally and get instruction from her, I know exactly what she wants. We have a very good idea of what each of us are expected to do within our playing positions, which really helps us adopt the new style. It really does make life easier knowing your task and the roles of others. It has been good for us to develop our discipline as a team.

SS: For you personally Em, what is Hesterine wanting from you in the middle of the park?

EVE: Basically to limit my touches and be supportive to the back four. It is important for me to be the link between the defense & attacking midfielder. Being disciplined is a big thing, if everyone can do their jobs of which Hesterine has asked, then it will make for a very good game and well... future for where we can go & what we can achieve as a squad.

SS: Your natural instinct as a footballer is attacking, this word discipline... How do you manage sitting back at times?

EVE: I struggle a little with it, during the W-League season for Newcastle I played in the attacking midfield position where I had the freedom to go forward. So I have had to adjust, it is a different role for me, but a challenge and one that I want. I have to say though, the communication we have from the back-line really helps remind me of my role. Again, it is a good challenge.

SS: The next couple of matches will give you guys a bench mark in order to move forward?

EVE: Yes it will. Playing New Zealand over the next few days will really show where we are at, having gone through all the changes the last few months. It is important for us to get a bench mark and have our problem areas highlighted so that we can work on them in to the future. It will also show what we have been doing right, which I am excited about too. I just hope the fans that are coming out it is a good entertaining game.

SS: I am sure it will. Now Em tell us about this ‘surprise- phone call you received from Hesterine over the weekend?

EVE: It was Saturday night and honestly I was sitting at home and Hesterine called. She told me straight up that with Katie now injured, I-d have more of a leadership role within the group and she-d like me to be co-captain with Polky. It definitely took me by surprise & I didn-t know how to react. Obviously I said yes! I am really looking forward to the challenge, it will be a great experience. Having someone there like Polks is nice, everyone knows how Polks is so cool & calm. I am excited for it. I won-t change at all. Just do my thing and be a leader out there.

SS: Naturally you will lead out there Em!! In regards to the future, you mentioned just now this group could be together for the next 5 to 10 years. What do you hope to see we achieve in time to come?

EVE: We do have a very young squad, I think it will be exciting and positive going forward with this bunch of girls. We have the World Cup qualifiers next year & that is really important we qualify to Canada in 2015. I think we have a very talented squad here and I think we can do really well.