The CommBank Matildas continued their preparation for game two against Canada on Wednesday (Tuesday local time) as they arrived back at their home base in Vancouver.
Caitlin Foord spoke about learning from their experience in game one, the buy-in from the playing group, and reflected on her personal 2023.
“It was a tough game,” she acknowledged. “Obviously the new conditions that we’ve come to, a lot of us haven’t played on turf for a very long time, so to have a couple of days to switch that mindset… it was a hard game to get into.”
“For us, it’s kind of learning, and trial and error, with new things to build towards the bigger picture.”
She described that playing the game on artificial turf, as opposed to the kind of grass pitches that most of the squad are used to, changed the dynamic of the game.
“With everything that kind of impacted these games with the travel - not only coming into Canada but the travel to Victoria. It was an hour bus ride, two hours on the ferry, another bus ride, and yeah, that’s all before match day minus one… it was hard.
“That’s why I give all credit to the girls that did play because it was extremely hard conditions and considering that I think they did really well.”
The Arsenal forward echoed coach Gustavsson in emphasising the importance of the bigger picture, away from just the one result.
“We were trying to trial new things and that’s, in a way, learning a new playing style and we haven’t had many trainings doing it, let alone a competition match against top opponents,” she explained. “It’s just seeing how that works and how it goes as well. And it’s just another style that we’re able to play.”
Reflecting on her 2023 as a whole, Foord is regretful of falling just short of major silverware – but says that coming so close to success just spurs her on further.
“We’ve been good [for] both club and country, but just fell short both times,” she said. “I think there’s been a lot to learn from and a lot gained as well, but I don’t have much in my trophy cabinet to show for it.
“I guess it makes me hungry for more – Arsenal to win the league and to do well in the FA Cup and keep the Conti Cup, qualify for Champions League – and next year we have the Olympics as well. So I hope this year is a stepping stone in the right direction for next year.”
She finished by reinforcing how the environment at Arsenal is making her the best player possible.
“I’ve seen my game improve since I’ve been there,” she said. “Hopefully this year, [next] couple of years while I’m still there, it can only get better and better.”
Canada v CommBank Matildas
Date: Tuesday, 5 December 2023 (local) / Wednesday, 6 December (AEDT)
Kick-off: 7.00pm PST (local) / 2.00pm (AEDT)
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+