Earlier this week, the Young Matildas won their first official international match with a 2-1 defeat of South Korea, as part of their preparation for World Cup qualifying.
Earlier this week, the Young Matildas won their first official international match with a 2-1 defeat of South Korea, as part of their preparation for the World Cup qualifying tournament in October, later this year.
Westfield Matildas star Sally Shipard caught up with Young Matilda Georgia Yeoman-Dale at training after the game.
SS: The game against South Korea was your first international, how was it for the team?
GYD: For us as a squad, it was a great opportunity to see where we are at in our phase of preparation for the qualifiers in October. We have had a few games against boys whilst in camps leading up to this, but there is no comparison. It was great to finally have an official game, pretty happy with the result too.
SS: How were the South Koreans? Typically they are always so technically advanced, was this the case in this game?
GYD: With matches against Asian sides, in my experience, we tend to struggle to compete technically. They are much better than us in terms of their technical development, so they have a lot of the ball. However, yesterday they didn-t seem to take advantage of the amount of possession they had.
SS: How can you counteract this?
GYD: Well, it-s obvious we must get better at defending, especially one-on-one. We cannot afford to be diving in. So that when we do come across the stronger Asian sides we can deal with it.
SS: In terms of the way you guys kept the ball, as a team, were you able to maintain your composure?
GYD: There were periods where they had the ball a lot. But there were also some good patches during the game when we kept possession and sent the ball forward. As we-d win the ball, we-d end up turning it over, which was frustrating and something we-d like to improve on before the next game.
SS: You-ve got a closed match on Wednesday, then play another official match Saturday?
GYD: Yes, we have a closed match on Wednesday, allowing both sides to trial different formations and players, we can also make as many subs as we-d like. On Saturday it is another official game. Hopefully we can continue improving upon our performance yesterday and come away with all three games. But as I said before, these games are providing a benchmark as to where we are at. So that-s the most important thing for us.
SS: You guys must be in camp for a little while then, how is that?
GYD: It-s so nice to be together and spend quality time with everyone. We are in Canberra at the AIS for 10 days, and it-s really helping us gel. We are only training once a day, so there is a lot of down time. Being a Canberra girl, it is made a little easier. I have had to take the days off work but for a few of the other local girls, they can sneak off to uni during the day.
It-s so important for us to be comfortable in each other-s space, when we travel in to Asia we will be away for weeks on end, so we may as well get used to it.
SS: Before I let you go George, who for you were standout in the game?
GYD: Eliza played awesome in goals for us; she pulled off some great saves that really contributed to the final result. And Gracie Field played well also. For Tara to score round about the 30th minute was important too, which meant we were able to equalise before the break. The South Koreans scored early on so we were chasing our tail for a moment there.... and then I scored just after half-time, to get us in front.
SS: Well done! How did that feel?
GYD: Scoring is the most amazing feeling. And to be honest it wasn-t a set shot. But I did hit it well enough and it managed to go in. It felt great, gave me a bit more confidence too, which any striker loves.
SS: Awesome work, congratulations. Now what-s on the agenda?
GYD: We had a recovery session this morning in the pool. This afternoon we are heading to Ten-Pin bowling for some team bonding and friendly competition. Should be fun.
SS: Enjoy all of the above George. Recover well and enjoy the next few days in camp. Good luck for the remaining matches.
Image courtesy The Women's Game