Reminiscing on the Matilda's 7 - 0 loss to Newcastle Jets boys U16 team
The Australian Women's team played to a crowd of 200, and it wasn't a pretty sight. It was one of those lacklustre games with goals galore but from the wrong side. The boys played ringlets around the ladies; producing first - grade moves and stealthy attacks. They moved the ball like professionals, and although the boys were 16+ - a semi-pro attitude was displayed out on that pitch.
Firstly, The Matildas were targeting the Rio Olympics back then, and secondly, they were ranked 5th! The idea to humiliate was not my intention, but it was a hideous scoreline.
The first question I asked myself was, "did they take this match seriously?' The answer to that was nope! There was no pressure on Gary Van Egmond (assistant coach) none at all. It seemed like they adopted a rotating line-up, maybe changing tactics due to missing players - but I felt like this backfired on them greatly. It was a lighthearted affair but I felt like the media threw a few stones their way - blowing it up as a reason why female football isn't in the same league. I mean, if they couldn't beat a bunch of 15+ -year-olds then how can you take them seriously?
The Matildas regularly played against male competition as other female teams simply weren't out there. Well, they were there, but it was a thing of fusing together a proper competition for them - which is going to take place now in the up - coming months as a proper league for women.
The Newcastle Jets simply sounded the alarm on how you should always take the game seriously, and be prepared to be stunned along the way. It was a signal for them to realise that the world was watching.
Gary's words were -
"To be honest we didn't expect that, but the Jets boys were very good. All credit to them. They moved the ball around very well and were excellent on the night. At this stage in their preparation, obviously, the Matildas are not in a position to play regular games so I'd suggest all and sundry were a little bit rusty."
"A little bit rusty" was the truth, and looking back towards this game just shows me how far they had come. The Matilda's were respected even after the defeat to The Jets, and it didn't harm their image - but whenever a team loses 7-0 - whether a friendly, competition or qualifying round, it begs to question, "What the hell, were you doing out there?"
Vam Dyke - “We could have had an easier game, but we definitely want to keep testing the girls.”
Well, Van Dyke, that was a test that will never be forgotten by me, and I rate this friendly match as one of their worst ever. At least these ladies have redeemed themselves since. Thank goodness for that.