Lisa De Vanna arrived in Newcastle clutching the Tournament of Nations trophy the Matildas won this month in America, but the striker said the team had returned to Australia with something more valuable than silverware.
The 32-year-old, who was in town last week to promote the Matildas’ September 19 clash with Brazil at McDonald Jones Stadium, said she and her teammates now believed they could win the World Cup in France in 2019.
“I’ve never felt before that it’s achievable. Every time in my career I’m thinking, ‘Oh, we’ve got Brazil. How are we going to beat them?’ Now I can go in and feel that we can beat them, and everyone else is confident we can,” De Vanna said.
De Vanna said Australia’s attacking threats had contributed to their recent success, which could lift them from No.7 to No.3 or No.4 in the world when FIFA issues the latest women’s rankings on September 1.
Organisers say they have sold 7000 tickets and hope for a crowd of at least 10,000 when the Matildas host Brazil in Newcastle next month.
Australia also play Brazil three days earlier in Sydney as they build up to the eight-team Asian Cup finals in April. The top five in Jordan go to the 2019 World Cup.