My Westfield Matildas Story: Mackenzie Arnold - 'A life-changing experience for me'

Four years ago Mackenzie Arnold was more concerned about putting together a consistent string of games than representing her country. Then a fateful call came through that meant "I knew this is what I wanted to do for as long as I could". 

In a series of exclusive interviews for www.matildas.com.au, we will be catching up with Ante Milicic's 23-player squad in the build-up to the World Cup. Today we hear from Mackenzie Arnold.

The young goalkeeper had been struggling with a series of niggling injuries before she received a call-up to the Westfield Matildas squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015.

And while she did not take to the field during that tournament in Canada, it proved to be an eye-opening experience.

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“I’d come off quite a series of injuries with my quad and I think I got the call only a couple of days before we went into camp. It was probably one of the most life-changing experiences for me,” Arnold said.

“I didn’t expect it, and coming in with the talent that we had at the time it was a very proud moment for myself and my family, I’ll never forget that.

Brisbane Roar's Mackenzie Arnold.
Mackenzie Arnold in action for Brisbane Roar

“It was at the end of a camp and I called dad straight away. I think he was a bit shell-shocked just as much as I was – not that he didn’t believe in me, just that we were very surprised that the opportunity had come so quickly in my career.”

Once over the initial shock, the then 21-year old threw herself into training ahead of the World Cup and by the time Australia exited at the hands of eventual runners-up Japan in the quarter-finals, Arnold knew she was in the right place.

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“After experiencing that I just knew for sure this is what I wanted to do for as long as I could,” she said.

“From that point on, I just looked forward to the Olympics and the next World Cup, and every other major tournament we had. I just wanted to be on the field with those girls.”

Watch the full video at the top of this page.

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