See our Westfield Matildas deliver winning, thrilling football

Westfield Matildas players celebrate Tameka Butt's goal in their win over the USA at the Tournament of Nations.
-
Australians love winners. In any sport. And they love their teams to have a go. Excite. Entertain. Take on the world.

Enter the Westfield Matildas.

The last couple of months have seen a step-change in the perception and popularity of the side in this country (and even around the world). 

Super-charged by the stunning success at the Tournament of Nations in July/August, tickets to the upcoming friendlies with Brazil were snapped up at record rates (incredibly, game one on Sept 16 in Penrith sold out weeks in advance, over 17,000 tickets all gone!)

An Asian Cup (2018), World Cup (2019) and Olympics (2020) over the next three years. It is all in front of this incredible golden generation of players. 

How lucky are we as fans to have this group of players and master coach.

Sam Kerr has been shortlisted for the World Player of the Year award.

GOLDEN GENERATION

Front and centre is the player many are calling the best female footballer on the planet – Sam Kerr.

Kerr is all about the team and not herself, but there's no doubt she's a massive talent. 

The Glory star scored a first-half hat-trick against Japan at the Tournament of Nations and followed that up with another goal in the 6-1 mauling of Brazil.

At 23, she's also an absolute star in the National Women's Soccer League scoring goals for fun at Sky Blue FC.

Joining her in attack are the likes of Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord and rising star Princess Ibini. 

And of course the legend herself, Lisa De Vanna is still a huge attacking threat for any side in the world while the great Kyah Simon will threaten any side in the world over the coming years with her penalty box prowess.

Westfield Matildas star Caitlin Foord celebrates a goal during the Algarve Cup.

MIDFIELD AND DEFENCE FULL OF TALENT

In the engine room is midfielder Emily van Egmond who plies her trade in the cut and thrust of the German Bundesliga, versatile Elise Kellond-Knight and playmaker Katrina Gorry.

What a class trio running the show. 

While further back, the defence is anchored by Steph Catley, the hugely talented Alanna Kennedy with one of the planet's great keepers in Lydia Williams bossing the backline. 

Add rising star Ellie Carpenter and it's a defence that's shown immense quality in recent times. 

STAJ: THE MAN WITH THE PLAN

The Matildas are coached by former NSW Premier League player and Australian schoolboy international, Alen Stajcic.

Since taking over in 2014, the man they call "Staj" has guided the side to new heights.

Westfield Matildas boss Alen Stajcic with Co-Captain Lisa De Vanna.

After taking over just before the Asian Cup of 2014, where Australia reached the final, he refocused the national team. 

At the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, they became the first senior Australian football team to win a knockout match in a World Cup when they beat Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16.

Last year, the Westfield Matildas qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in 12 years, topping the Asian Qualifying group with a landmark win over Japan. In Rio, they made the final eight before an agonizing loss to Brazil on penalties.

Under Stajcic's watch, the side reached their highest ever FIFA ranking of fifth in the world.

And those impressive results are the product of the way this team plays its football.

It's exciting, fast-paced and highly effective.

They break quickly in possession and often catch opposition sides off-guard with their crisp passing and speed of movement.

And there's an end-product, too – this team scores goals - 11 in three games at the Tournament of Nations is testament to that.

Alen Stajcic has named the Westfield Matildas squad for the home series against Brazil.

SUCCESS A PRODUCT OF VISIONARY PLANNING

I’m sensing the seeds that were sown back in 2011 - when Australia’s Tom Sermanni picked a very young squad to the World Cup in Germany - are set to bear fruit.

Over the last six years the team has grown and developed all with a long-term goal in mind.

Watch them live or see them on your screens against superstar Marta and her Brazilian teammates over the next week in western Sydney and Newcastle. 

What a week and what a few years ahead. 

So, now is the time to jump on board the Matildas bandwagon, that is if you like winners with a dash of star power and thrill-a-minute football.