Clare Wheeler: Feeling Fortunate

Ben Gilby heard from Clare Wheeler from the Matildas’ pre-Asia Cup training camp in the United Arab Emirates as the Fortuna Hjørring midfielder spoke about how preparations are going.

Above: Clare Wheeler (centre) pictured in action for Australia against the USA at the end of last year. Photo: Football Australia (13/1/22).

With the 2022 AFC Asia Women’s Cup kicking off next week, Clare Wheeler realizes how lucky she is to be with her national team.

“The weather’s been good so far. We’re really fortunate to be here as it’s really crazy at home at the moment with COVID.”

Wheeler revealed where she was when she heard about her selection for the competition: “I was around friends and family, so it was incredible. I was spending time in Sydney, training with Sydney FC, and to hear that Remy (Siemsen) and Cortnee (Vine) were called up too was also really good to hear.

Above: Clare Wheeler pictured in training this week in the Matildas’ pre-Asia Cup camp in Dubai. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Football Australia.

“It’s always something you are working towards – going to a tournament with your country. I’m so thankful and struggle to find words to describe it!

“My international career has been a whirlwind – being called in as an injury replacement in Ireland and then getting called in during November and December, now January has been incredible. I hope it continues!”

The Matildas have been in Dubai since the start of this week, and Wheeler described what’s been going on so far: “The first training session was really fun. It’s always good to get the body moving after a long flight. Some of the girls had also come straight across from playing matches at the weekend. We’ve had a laugh and started preparing. The last time we won this competition was in 2010, so we’re really excited and ready to go.

“I need to show the coaches that I am someone who can put my hand up and be someone who can be depended on and for what I can provide for the team. Tony (Gustavsson, head coach) has been telling us that these days are crucial for learning the game plan that he has, so when it comes to India we shift into tournament mindset, know our roles and there is clarity for each and every game we play.”

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