Lowe on a high after late Algarve Cup call-up

17-year-old attacker Rachel Lowe says she’ll be aiming to make the most of her late call-up to the Westfield Matildas during the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal.

Lowe, who plays for Western Sydney Wanderers FC in the Westfield W-League, was driving to training last Tuesday afternoon when her phone unexpectedly rang en route to her session.

On the other end of the line was none other than Westfield Matildas Head Coach, Alen Stajcic, who had some very good news for the ambitious forward.

“When I answered the phone he (Stajcic) said ‘hello… you’re coming to Portugal’,” said Lowe, who was called up to the squad for the injured Emily Gielnik just over four hours before the team was due to take off from Sydney International.

“I turned the car around and went home to get my things and tell my parents. They were freaking out, but the (Westfield) Matildas staff helped me with everything and within an hour of receiving his (Stajcic’s) call I was out the door and on the way to the Airport.”

Rachel Lowe


Since her rapid inclusion in the Westfield Matildas squad for the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal, Lowe has flown to Europe, settled in with the squad, and trained three times with the senior team as they prepare for their tournament opener against Norway on Wednesday (local time).

Lowe says some advice from Stajcic, as well as his Assistant Gary van Egmond, has helped her to find her feet in the Westfield Matildas set-up.

“When I got off the plane Gary (van Egmond) talked to me and said that I just needed to be myself,” Lowe explained. “He told me that I am here (in Portugal) for a reason and to be confident.”

“Since then Alen Stajcic has said to me that no one is judging me and has encouraged me to train freely during the tournament.

“And all the girls have been great, they’ve helped me to settle in.”

Rachel Lowe


On and off the pitch, Lowe says she’s determined to soak up the experience of being around and working with players she idolises.

“It would be amazing to debut here with such a great team --- seeing all the girls I have idolised around the breakfast table still has me pinching myself a bit,” she said. “But I am just seeing this as a learning opportunity and not thinking too much about if I will get game time.”

“I got called up late, so this is first and foremost a chance for me to get better. If it (debuting for the Westfield Matildas) happens, it happens. I am just grateful to be here,” Lowe concluded.

Westfield Matildas v Norway
Date: Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Venue: Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufiera, Portugal
Kick-off: 6.30pm (local) (5.30am, Thursday, 1 March 2018 AEDT)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS 503

Portugal v Westfield Matildas
Date: Friday, 2 March 2018
Venue: Estadio Algarve, Algarve, Portugal
Kick-off: 3pm (local) (2am, Saturday, 3 March 2018 AEDT)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS 506

Westfield Matildas v China PR
Date: Monday, 5 March 2018
Venue: Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufiera, Portugal
Kick-off: 7pm (local) (6am, Tuesday, 6 March 2018)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS 501