The Westfield Matildas are overwhelmed with the level of support from back home and admit it’s helping fuel their belief they can go deep at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight says the side is still on a high from their history-making 1-0 win over Brazil in Monday morning’s second round clash in Moncton.
The stunning victory has made quite an impression with football fans in Australia and Kellond-Knight – player of the match in the Matildas’ last two games – says the squad is feeling the love.
“It’s been awesome,” Kellond-Knight said of the support from back home.
“We’ve probably always slipped under the radar a little bit with women’s football but it’s great to have that feeling that the country’s really supporting us.
“To be on the front page of the newspapers, be on the news reel highlights, it’s a real sense of accomplishment and I’m proud of the girls for putting football on the front page.”
The Matildas left Moncton earlier on Tuesday (AEST) and have arrived in Edmonton ahead of this weekend’s quarter-final against either Netherlands or Japan.
While still weary from four tough matches and a grueling travel schedule, coach Alen Stajcic has five full days to prepare them for another massive challenge.
Livewire attacker Sam Kerr, who has started all four matches so far, says the squad sense they are building to something even more special for the rest of the tournament.
“We believe we can [go all the way] and we have since the start of the tournament,” Kerr said.
“Obviously beating a team like Brazil, one of the best teams in the world, it’s good to get the win with the girls and it brings us together more as a family.
“It gives you a massive amount of belief and it feels good to reach this stage of the tournament but we want to go further.”
Kellond-Knight added: “Our belief is growing.
“You could see in the first game there was a few nerves but as the tournament’s gone on the confidence is growing and growing and it’s showing in our performances. I think the best is yet to come.
“It’s tough because even though we have achieved something fantastic and the country is really proud of us, at the same time we have to keep our heads screwed on because we’ve only done part of the job.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to achieve our major goal and that’s to win a medal at this tournament.”