Arnold: Having the 'core group' return has helped the team 'come together'

Westfield Matilda, Mackenzie Arnold, believes the return of Australia’s big guns has blown wind in the team’s sails.

Alen Stajcic’s team are currently in camp as they prepare for their Seven Consulting International Series against Chile on Saturday, November 10 and Tuesday, November 13.

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And ahead of their opener, Arnold said the likes of Sam Kerr, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy are welcome inclusions.

“It’s really good, actually. We’ve got the whole squad back together now so it’s really exciting and it’s our last matches before the year’s over, so we’re looking forward to it,” said Arnold. 

“Training is always the same [intensity] - whoever comes in, we’re always working hard. I think that to get the main, core group back together makes everything a lot easier for us, and we can properly prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the games coming up now.”

Lydia Williams
Lydia Williams in camp ahead of the Westfield Matildas' series against Chile.

Arnold playing alongside an idol

In her teens, Arnold grew up watching Lydia Williams defend Australia’s goal from opposition onslaughts. 

Now, she’s training alongside her and pushing the 30-year-old in camp. 

“It’s always been a healthy competition between my and Lyds”

“She’s someone I’ve probably looked up to since I was about 17, so to get onto that level playing field now is a pretty exciting time,” said Arnold.

“And with the FIFA Women’s World Cup coming up, it’s getting a bit real now, so we’ll see what happens. 

“When I first came into the Westfield Matildas, it was a bit surreal that I was in a competition basis with Lydia. But we’re good friends off the pitch, so it’s always been healthy between us, it’s never been a rivalry, so we keep each other on our toes - it’s good.”

Las Chicas de Rojo

The last time Australia hosted South American opposition in Penrith and Newcastle, Sam Kerr put on a masterclass to lead Australia to consecutive victories. 

And while this two-game series will be the first time the Westfield Matildas have ever played Chile, the players aren’t going in without a bit of information. 

“The coaches have done a lot of work and study on Chile leading up to these games, and we’ve never versed them before so it’s going to be an exciting game,” said Arnold.

You can purchase tickets here for the Westfield Matildas' opening friendly against Chile.