Matildas v Brazil: Post Match Reaction

Ben Gilby heard from Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Clare Polkinghorne plus debutants Bryleeh Henry and Remy Siemsen.

Above: The Australia team that started against Brazil yesterday in Parramatta. Photo: Football Australia.

Western Sydney Wanderers’ Bryleeh Henry, who came on for her debut in her home region was extremely emotional to be wearing the Matildas shirt.

“I’m going to cry! I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, it’s a dream come true. It means the world and to do it in front of my family is just an absolute honour. I was hoping (to get on the pitch) but wasn’t expecting it at all. Mel (Andreatta) called me over and started talking about set-pieces and my mind started spinning! I needed to calm down and play my football. I was happy with my form.”

Alanna Kennedy made her hundredth appearance in the game and spoke of her pride.

Above: Then and now – Alanna Kennedy made her hundredth appearance for Australia last night. Photo: Football Australia.

“It meant so much to finally be back and to have my hundredth cap in front of home fans. I’m happy with than and proud of the girls performance. My family are such a big part of me getting to a hundred appearances. I’ve just seen them for the first time in 15 months. I love them to pieces.”

Talking about the physicality of the match, she said: “I’ve had enough knocks in my career to recover from those. It’s the type of game you always get against Brazil and we always show up for that.”

Caitlin Foord spoke in detail after the game. “I don’t think there was pressure (on us), I just wanted to go into the game and enjoy it, being on home soil with home fans. That’s what got us through today. The buzz from the fans and the turn out.

Above: The Matildas come together to celebrate. Photo: Football Australia.

“Our rotation in midfield was good. We have a good understanding in order to move and make space. It was working.”

She outlined the influence that Tony Gustavsson has brought to the team since coming in as head coach. “He’s brought his knowledge. He is very intelligent, you can see that and we’ve all learned so much from him already. The most important thing is that he’s brought out the best of everyone’s ability. How we play is to bring out the best of every single player. He wants us all to express ourselves and do what we do best – giving us the freedom to play.”

Above: Young star Mary Fowler, who impressed Caitlin Foord. Photo: Football Australia.

The Arsenal star spoke glowingly about the performances and potential of teenagers Mary Fowler and Kyra Cooney-Cross.

“It’s exciting to see them grow the last couple of years to where they are now. They have deserved what they have done. Mary came out big today and scored – that’s what she can do, and Kyra getting on the ball and dictating. We keep encouraging them. We want them to be comfortable on the ball and express themselves. We are encouraging them a lot.”

Asked about how team have progressed since the 2019 World Cup, Foord was positive. “We’ve missed a year due to Covid and so not long with Tony. We have so much time together to grow and that’s exciting.”

Foord also highlighted the mixed emotions about finally being back on Australian soil after 20 months away. “The hardest thing is not being able to see our families (still). It’s been so long for all of us, so we just wanted to come here and put on a great show. We want to block out the outside noise as we’re here for this team and that’s what we continue to do. We didn’t want to go away with a loss. We also wanted a clean sheet, we didn’t get that. We’re disappointed that we conceded. We want two wins (from these games with Brazil)”.

Clare Polkinghorne, whose goal put Australia ahead spoke of her joy about playing in front of a home crowd again: “It was a great turn out, we had amazing support. To put on a performance like that and score three goals is really pleasing.

Above: Kyah Simon and Sam Kerr celebrate. Photo: Football Australia

“For my goal, it all happened so quickly. It came from a set piece that we’ve been working on. Sam (Kerr) did well to win the first ball and I’m there to pick up the second ball and luckily it went in.”

“Tuesday’s game will be another tough contest. We’ll recover properly and look at the video of things we need to improve and go again.”

Above: Debutants Remy Siemsen (left) and Bryleeh Henry. Photo: Football Australia.

Another debutant was Sydney FC’s Remy Siemsen. She spoke emotionally after the game about the feeling of winning her first cap.

“I’ve been dreaming of this moment. I’m overwhelmed. It’s a complete dream come true for me. You can tell by my emotions how much this means to me. To do it in front of friends and family in my home town is so special.

“I consider myself so privileged to don the green and gold alongside some of the best players in the world. It will be a night I remember forever.

“I didn’t know I was coming on. It was a nice surprise! I quickly had to absorb all the information before coming on. I wanted to make an impact in some way or form. The girls were so encouraging and made me so welcome. They helped me out!”

Above: Matildas players show their joy after the match. Photo: Football Australia

Impetus’ Kris Goman participated in the post match press conference with Tony Gustavsson – her take on what was said will be on the site later today.

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