Westfield Matildas star Hayley Raso believes 'nothing would compare' to running out at a FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ on home soil.
The Brisbane Roar attacker, who made four appearances at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 in France, is all too familiar with the experience of the global football extravaganza.
The thought of bringing the best players in the world and the carnival atmosphere that comes with it to Australian shores is something Raso has dreamed about.
On the day Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football announced their joint bid to host the 2023 tournament, Raso expressed her delight at the news.
“It’s really exciting,” Raso told matildas.com.au
“To think about having a World Cup on home soil, it’s an amazing thought and I don’t think anything would compare to it.
“We’re all backing it, we’re all behind it and we’re hoping to bring games to the Australian public.”
Raso is refusing to let anything stop her leading Brisbane’s revival after battling through the pain barrier this Westfield W-League season.
The 25-year-old was carried off with her arm in a makeshift sling in the closing stages of the Round 2 match with Melbourne Victory, after getting her hand stamped on during an accidental clash with Angela Beard, but she has not missed a game this season.
During the 2-1 triumph against Canberra United last week, Raso suffered a nasty-looking fall on her shoulder and was on the receiving end of some industrial tackles at McKellar Park.
The Westfield Matilda is still struggling with the freak hand injury from last month, but admits nothing will compare to the collision which left her with three broke vertebrae in her back while playing for Portland Thorns in October 2018.
“I got through the game [last week],” Raso said with a wry smile.
“I managed. I have been in the wars a little bit.
“I’m still struggling with my hand and hoping to come out this weekend healthy and injury free at the end of the game.
“I think it’s part of the game, and something that seems to be happening to me quite regularly to be honest.
“I think after going through my back injury, nothing really compares to the pain, nothing is like it.
“I think I have pretty high pain threshold.”
The Westfield Matilda made a goal for Tameka Yallop and opened her account for the season last Thursday as Jake Goodship celebrated his first win as head coach, and Brisbane’s first three points of the 2019/20 campaign.
Roar had goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold to thank for preserving the victory after she made a late reaction save to keep the score at 2-1.
She also recorded the assist for the second goal with a 70-yard kick which left Raso with only the opposition goalkeeper to beat.
“She screamed out my name and I knew the ball was coming to me,” Raso said.
“She made a really great save at the end and she’s a world-class keeper so we’re lucky to have her back there saving us.”
Brisbane seemed comfortable until Elise Thorsnes’ 66th-minute effort hauled Heather Garriock’s side back into the game.
The home team ended up clinging on in the final moments and Raso admits her side need to avoid putting themselves in those positions.
“I think we just need to remain calm and positive at the end of the game,” she added.
“It starts to get a little bit frantic when you’re only one goal up but, if we take our chances earlier in the game, it would have been a bigger lead and we won’t have to close the game out so tightly, we can play our own style of football.
“We want to come out and score early, but we want to keep scoring goals to put an end to the other team.”
In Round 5, Roar return to Queensland to host Adelaide United, who are yet to get off the mark for the season following three straight defeats.
Having been in a similar situation heading into last weekend’s games, Raso will not be taking the Lady Reds for granted at Lions Stadium.
“We’re not discounting them, I think every game that we go into it’s going to be a competitive game and a strong game,” she added.
“I’ve watched Adelaide play and they have been looking good.
“We don’t discount any team. We just go in and play our style.”
Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United
Date: Saturday, 14 December
Venue: Lions FC Stadium
Kick-off: 4.30pm AEST, 5.30pm AEDT