Westfield Matildas winger Emily Gielnik has praised her national teammate Sam Kerr for her influence on the women’s game in Australia, calling the 25-year old ‘iconic’.
Appearing on Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday program, Gielnik was quizzed about the reigning Westfield W-League Golden Boot winner and what she brings to football in Australia.
Gielnik, whose Melbourne Victory side saw the full wrath of Kerr’s abilities in their semi-final loss to Perth Glory, said her contribution and image were crucial to the growth of the women’s game.
“She is crucial,” Gilenik told the panel.
“Because of the backflips [celebration] she is iconic and the face of the squad almost in a way. But she’s so humble and we all love her.. it’s brought light to women’s football so I think it’s great for us.”
Gielnik enjoyed a strong campaign in her first season in Melbourne, scoring four goals as Victory swept all before them to win their first Premiers Plate.
She also lit up the recent Cup of Nations tournament, scoring one of the goals of the round-robin series against Korea Republic in Brisbane.
Gielnik said the tournament, which Australia won, was vital to their preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019tm.
“It’s a stepping stone into the World Cup which is just so prestigious,” she said.
“It was really important for us to have those Cup of Nations games on home soil just to show Australia what we’re made of and we really want them to get behind us so it was key for us that we won that tournament and we played well.”