It was back to school for four Westfield Matildas stars on Wednesday as they made a special visit to Maryland Public School.
Emily Gielnik, Katrina Gorry and Karly Roestbakken were among the Westfield Matildas that attended the school, along with Emily van Egmond whose mum Annette is the school Principal.
It was a day to remember for almost 430 kids at Maryland Public, who had the chance to connect with their heroes ahead of Friday night’s clash against Vietnam at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The youngsters not only got the chance to ask the Westfield Matildas stars questions during the school assembly, but also get some items signed and pose for photos.
“It means everything to our kids and community. As you know Newcastle is passionate about their sport and our kids here are no different,” Annette van Egmond told Matildas.com.au.
“For them to have the opportunity to see some of their heroes and role models here on their own turf is fantastic.
“We’re absolutely thrilled the girls could come here today. It’s been fantastic leading up to it, it’s generated lots of discussion and lots of internet research.
“I’ve had kids coming up to me in the playground for the last week since we found out the girls were coming to visit with lots of facts, telling me that they know this about this player and that about that player.”
While the students were thrilled to see so many of their Westfield Matildas heroes, Newcastle local van Egmond was the undoubted favourite.
“It’s obviously good to be able to give back to the local kids of Newcastle,” she said.
“We know it’s super important to give back to the next generation of aspiring footballers and for us to be able to come out and do some local community school visits.
“We’re more than happy to do it and it’s obviously a bit extra because my mum’s the Principal.”
Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off Round
Australia v Vietnam (Home Leg)
Date: Friday, 6 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, ABC iview (delayed on ABC TV) and the My Football Live App
The match will also be streamed LIVE on YouTube for viewers outside of Australia and Vietnam
ON SALE: Tickets for final Tokyo 2020 play-off – Westfield Matildas v Vietnam
RECAP: Backflips and bumper crowds – classic Matildas moments in Newcastle
Vietnam v Australia (Away Leg)
Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.00pm local; 10pm AEDT
Venue: Cẩm Phả Stadium, Cẩm Phả, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam