'I had this fire in my belly': How big crowds motivate Westfield Matildas legend

Westfield Matildas veteran Lisa De Vanna is hopeful history repeats and the ‘sold out’ sign appears at much-anticipated fixtures on home soil next month.

Australia take on Chile in Penrith and Newcastle, on November 10 and 13 respectively, as preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 ramp up.

The 33-year-old, who was won 142 caps for her country, said one of the finest moments of her career came last year when the Westfield Matildas defeated Brazil 2-1 in front of a sell-out crowd in Penrith.

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De Vanna remembers the match fondly - but not for her outstanding goal in the fixture.

“I just had this fire in my belly,” De Vanna recalled.

“When you hear the national anthem and you’re singing it with 17,000 people, you just can’t put a feeling to it.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be able sing [it] out loud and have the voice behind me to support it.

Lisa De Vanna

“It was probably one of the most surreal feelings I’ve ever experienced in my whole football career.”

De Vanna, who described the friendlies as “an important lead-up to the World Cup”, says big crowds play a big role in motivating her and her teammates.

And she has called on any fans thinking about buying a ticket to either of the two matches to bite the bullet and make the purchase.

“Every international game that we play, whether it’s home or away, it’s very important,” she said.

“To have a sell-out crowd and have that many people come and support the Matildas [against Brazil], it was fantastic.

“Hopefully we get the same crowd to come out and watch all the superstars to perform again.”

Lisa De Vanna