Matildas star says best is yet to come
THEY'RE the talk of the town but they're not done yet. That's the message from Matildas midfielder Chloe Logarzo.
After clean-sweeping Brazil in two games on home soil in the past week - making it three straight wins over their rivals and eight games on the trot without a loss - the Australian women's football team has captured the nation's attention.
Logarzo says it's just the beginning.
"I think personally that the Matildas are going to take Australia by a storm and everyone's going to love us, not because we've been so successful and because I am a Matilda, but I actually think there hasn't been such a successful women's team ... I think that we're in the public eye right now and we're only going to increase it,” she said.
"Female sport is increasing all over the codes, in AFL and cricket and everything, but we're the only real sport in the limelight.
"We've got the Olympics, we've the World Cup, we've got the Asian Cup, we've got all these events and I think if we're able to get kids into the grassroots, it's going to be the most successful sport in Australia.”
While to some the Matildas' success may seem like a bolt from the blue, for insiders, their current form has been a long process.
Since head coach Alen Stajcic took over the side in 2014, he has worked to bring through players he managed in junior ranks.
A few years of up-and-down results are starting to settle and the players have responded to Stajcic's leadership.
"We've always had the desire and the ability to be able to be on top but I think our consistency was what we were lacking and 'Staj' has been able to. I don't know, he gets the best out of every single individual player,” Logarzo said.
"People could say that we're lucky but it's been a long time coming. I love when people say it's all luck because we've put in the hard work and the hard yards and now it is falling into place.”
The path ahead for the Matildas is a tough one, but a challenge they are primed for.
They have the Asian Cup next year, a World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, so their quest to be world-beaters has well and truly begun.
With an average age of just over 24, this team is one that can stick together and have a core group of players to see it all the way through and even hopefully to a home World Cup in 2023.
"Considering that most of the girls are around my age (22), we have such a young team and the majority of the girls have played together in the national teams for five or six years. I've definitely been around a lot of the girls for a very long time,” Logarzo said.
"We're very used to each other and it's good that we have another Olympic cycle and hopefully in the next four or five years, we're definitely working together and already on the path of thinking and if we can stay with this team for the next four years it's going to be pretty incredible.
"We're going to be a pretty unstoppable team I think.”