Westfield Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus says the upcoming two-game friendly series against Brazil will be the perfect dress rehearsal for the Asian Cup in May.
Westfield Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus says the upcoming two-game friendly series against Brazil will be the perfect dress rehearsal for the AFC Women's Asian Cup in May.
The Matildas will host the sixth-ranked Brazilians in Brisbane next week in another crucial warm-up for the Asian Cup in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
"We've been working a lot on the attacking side of game, controlling possession but also how to get it more effective," de Reus told www.footballaustralia.com.au when asked what she hoped to get out of the Brazil friendlies.
"Brazil will give us a lot of resistance and it's the perfect opponent to develop our attacking part of the game. They are skilful, very good in one-on-one situations and it will be a challenge for us to also improve our defending.”
Clearly playing Brazil is all about preparing for world champions Japan at the AFC Asian Cup, who-ve been grouped with Australia, Vietnam and Jordan.
"We want to improve our overall game but especially our effectiveness when in possession. We have a beautiful squad, very good players.
“A big part of core group but also some talented young ones for the future,” added the Dutchwoman.
"We're looking forward to playing one of the biggest nations in women's football so it's fantastic to have Brazil coming over and playing them."
The Matildas, who recently finished seventh at the recent Cyprus Women-s Cup, have a tough group for the Asian Cup which includes the host nation Vietnam and world champions Japan.
But de Reus is excited by the challenge in front of her emerging side.
"This squad when they really want to can beat everyone. It's not always how it turns out in a game but we go into every game thinking we can win it and we want to win it," the Matildas boss said.
"That will be the same when we play Japan but they are world champions so it's not something that can happen overnight.
"We have a very good program, many international matches which is a benefit for our young squad. We are really young where Japan is a more experienced squad and that's their advantage but we have really good players.
"We can beat them and we still have some time left when we play Brazil. I'm looking forward to that first confrontation with Japan when we get to Vietnam."
De Reus has gone with a good mix of experience and young talent to take on Brazil, with the likes of Rhali Dobson, Casey Dumont and Amy Harrison all in line for their Matildas debuts.
Missing from the 23 named are experienced names Melissa Barbieri and Heather Garriock. Ellyse Perry was also missing from the squad.
The Westfield Matildas meet Brazil in a two match series at the Queensland Sports & Athletic Centre in Brisbane next week (Sunday 6 April (kick-off 3pm), and Wednesday 9 April (kick-off 4:30pm). Click here for ticketing details and to purchase tickets.