We’re counting down the days until the Westfield Matildas entertain Chile in November.
And while only friendlies in name, the two clashes against the South Americans will serve as important building blocks for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
That little tournament commences in nine months’ time, and Alen Stajcic’s side could nail their title credentials to the mast with strong performances against Chile.
A warm welcome home
The last time the Westfield Matildas hosted a South American side in Penrith and Newcastle, the side sent out a statement of intent the world.
Those two fixtures against Brazil were historic events for the Westfield Matildas and had a galvanising effect on the team and the home front.
And after playing away from home for so long, the Westfield Matildas are likely to be given a heroes welcome.
Stajcic will also get a chance to weight up some of the options that have emerged since the AFC Asian Cup and the Tournament of Nations.
The likes of Alex Chidiac, who recently signed for Atletico Madrid, could be offered a chance to impress and stake her claim for selection in the first team picture.
Moreover, the games will offer opportunities for the side to fine-tune their combinations and for new partnerships to develop.
The midfield combination between Chloe Logarzo and Emily van Egmond is one that has blossomed in 2018, while the partnership between Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso has also developed into a roaring success.
A different kind of test
The Westfield Matildas have been flexing their muscles against an array of world superpowers of late.
Stajcic’s side have come up against FIFA World Ranked number one side United States, while fellow Tournament of Nations heavyweights Japan and Brazil are ranked sixth and seventh respectively.
Their opponents Chile should provide a different sort of test. Australia are set to enter the FIFA Women’s World Cup as potential winners and will need to sharpen their efficiency against lower-ranked challenges.
While the 39th ranked Chile side might not be as prestigious, it’s a challenge the Westfield Matildas must not be complacent with.