Charli Grant: “I’m loving the challenge, it makes my game better”

The Matildas defender Charli Grant spoke to the media ahead of Australia’s friendly with England tomorrow. Ben Gilby reports (10/4/23).

Above: Charli Grant sharing her thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s match with England. Image: Football Australia.

Charli Grant’s continual growth has seen the South Australian become an international regular and she is about to face, perhaps her toughest challenge yet against the European champions England on Tuesday.

Speaking from The Matildas’ Surrey training base, the Vittsjö defender affirmed how she thrives on the challenge that tomorrow night’s game will bring against a side who are unbeaten in 30 matches.

“England is a very exciting challenge for us to see where we are ahead of a World Cup. They definitely have one of the best forwards in the world at the moment. It’s a real challenge for our backline. Defensively they were (also) superb in the Euros and in recent friendly matches.

Above: Charli Grant strides forward for Australia against Scotland. Photo: Hannah Parnell for Impetus.

“I love the challenge and coming up against different quality strikers and forwards. It makes my game get better.”

Grant will most likely start in the left-back role against the Lionesses. Whilst this is not a position that many Australian fans have seen her play in, it is the position she plays weekly for Vittsjö in the Damallsvenskan.

The former Adelaide United defender reviewed her performance in the role against Scotland on Good Friday saying: “I was really happy to get the opportunity to play left back, it’s big shoes to fill with Steph out. I was happy to provide some attacking options, I just need to be better with my final passes.”

Reflecting on the team’s back four formation for the game at Wimbledon, Grant said: “It was exciting to have Ellie (Carpenter) back in the team and play in the same side as her. Clare (Hunt) has come in and done exceptionally well. She looks like she has been in the team for years. Polks (Clare Polkinghorne) is always there with composure and leadership.”

Australia’s own unbeaten run came to an end against Scotland on Friday, and whilst there could be a sense of frustration in The Matildas’ challenges in converting the chances they made, Grant is focusing on the positives from that match.

“We had a lot of goalscoring opportunities. We did well with build-up play and there was also some good defensive efforts, and have to take that as a positive.”

Photos from Sunday Matildas Training in Surrey from Rachel Bach/Football Australia:

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