‘Proud’ Kerr vows to lead with her actions after captaincy honour

New skipper Sam Kerr believes the number of leaders in the Westfield Matildas squad will make her job easy and she’s vowed to lead by her actions on the pitch.

Coach Ante Milicic selected Kerr as his new captain for the Westfield Matildas ahead of the start of the Cup of Nations on Thursday.

Kerr, along with new vice-captain Steph Catley, will be Australia’s leadership duo until at least the end of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

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While admitting she was “shocked” to have been handed the armband for the national team, Kerr says the honour won’t change her as a player.

“I’m not the most vocal leader, I just lead with my actions,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

“I also like to make everyone feel welcome and connected and that’s a huge part [of leadership].

“I’m pretty passionate on the field that shows when I’m playing. But the main thing for me is making everyone feel connected and making everyone feel equal and having that time with everyone in the team.”

Sam Kerr is all smiles at Westfield Matildas training.
Sam Kerr is all smiles at Westfield Matildas training.

Kerr said the message from Milicic when appointed captain was just to be herself.

“He [Milicic] said the reason I have got the role is because of who I have been the last few years and the things he’s seen,” Kerr explained.

“He just said don’t change, lead this team how you want to lead it.”

The 25-year-old attacker added: “I just want it to be a team environment. It’s not that it’s not been that in the past, it’s always been a great team culture and I’ve always been really excited to come in and see the girls.

“We just want it to make this about the team and about the World Cup and not worry about the outside noise.

“We have so many leaders it’s not just going to be that I’m the captain and it’s just going to be about me and Steph [Catley].

“There will be peoples shoulders that I’m going to lean on about leadership, someone like Clare Polkinghorne who I look up to.”

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Kerr’s first task as captain will be leading the attack for the Westfield Matildas during the Cup of Nations.

While the tournament – that will see Australia play New Zealand, Argentina and Korea Republic – is about getting things right ahead of the World Cup, Kerr is keen for the team to get results.

“You always want to win whenever you are out on the field. I just want together as a group and re-instill some confidence,” she said.

“There’s going to be things that are tried and things we maybe haven’t done before but at the end of the day we go out on the field to win.

“We’re trying to make a statement and whenever you play for the national team it’s a good chance to make a statement.

“But most importantly we’re just really excited to get back playing together. We’ve been playing against each other in the W-League and it’s been a while since we’ve played together for the Matildas.”