Matilda’s stalwart Emily van Egmond is ready to fight for her starting spot as the competition for precious midfield spots heats up.
Van Egmond has been a mainstay of Matildas since their debut in 2010, appearing in three World Cups and scoring 30 goals in 121 caps.
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But she missed October’s victories against South Africa and Denmark with a quadriceps injury and in her absence Katrina Gorry, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Alex Chidiac all impressed.
Elise Kellond-Knight, Chloe Logarzo and Amy Sayer will also make their case for Saturday’s game against Sweden, which means that van Egmond’s starting place is not a sure thing.
“Any team that you’re a part of wants to have healthy competition and that will really drive the team to be the best it can be,” van Egmond told AAP.
“So I think that’s a good challenge and one that the group definitely needs.
“I think (I need) consistency and I will just continue to be myself and at the end of the day help contribute to the team in whatever way I can.
“A home World Cup in front of friends and family, obviously you only get that opportunity once so I will do everything to book my ticket.”
The Matildas meet world no. 2 Sweden for the first time since their heartbreaking semi-final defeat at the Olympics and for the fourth time under coach Tony Gustavsson.
The AAMI Park clash is a good rehearsal for next year’s World Cup group stage clash against Canada at the same venue.
“They are a physical team. They also have some of the world’s best players,” said van Egmond.
“So it’s definitely going to be a challenge. I won’t take them lightly but it’s probably the first time for (their current squad) he’s likely going to Australia.
“Once again a good opportunity to train before the World Cup as the preparation is now starting, that’s the main goal.”
October’s wins were much-needed circuit breakers after a tough run of results and van Egmond hoped the momentum would continue.
“Everyone practices their craft abroad in different environments. So when you get into the national team, you have very little time together,” she said.
“It is therefore important that we use it wisely.
“Two results from last camp is what we needed, two wins, so hopefully we’ll keep rolling at this camp.
The majority of the Matildas are yet to arrive in Melbourne with games in England and Europe at the weekend.
Only van Egmond, Logarzo, Chidiac, Cortnee Vine, Larissa Crummer and Jada Whyman took to the track on Monday.
https://7news.com.au/sport/soccer/matildas-veteran-emily-van-egmond-up-for-selection-fight-ahead-of-home-world-cup-c-8780834 Van Egmond for Matilda’s selection campaign