Kennedy reflects on year away from Matildas: “It's taught me to be grateful”

Alanna Kennedy has been a mainstay of the Westfield Matildas for almost a decade. However, the break from matches has given her a greater appreciation for the green and gold jersey.

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Over a year has passed since the Westfield Matildas last played. However, the return of national team duty under new head coach Tony Gustavsson has made many of the squad reminiscent of what they’ve learnt since being separated.

“It's taught me to be grateful, for the things that I have and the people in my life” - Alanna Kennedy

MORE: Tony Gustavsson selects 23 player squad for April internationals

Kennedy, who recently made her move to Tottenham Hotspur permanent, has joined the growing number of Westfield Matildas in England’s FA Women’s Super League. Although having the company of her Australian teammates in London, the experience of being together during a national team campaign cannot be matched.

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Alanna Kennedy greets fans after a FIFA Women's World Cup match

“I would say, for the time that we’ve had away [from the Westfield Matildas], we've all just missed it so much”, Kennedy told

“It’s a special jersey to wear, but I think now having been away from it for a year, it gives you even more of an appreciation for it.”

The 26-year-old has experienced a tough yet rewarding period since international football was postponed. Travel restrictions have stopped the defender from returning home to see family, however Kennedy has further established herself at Tottenham, playing regular football in one of the world’s toughest leagues.


The UK lockdowns and time away from teammates have forced Kennedy to focus on her own improvement, where it’s hoped that hard work will show results when Australia’s number 14 once again dons the green and gold.

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“In terms of the physical side of things and preparing [for Matildas selection], there’s more accountability when we’re away from the team.”

“We've all had times during the break, where we had to work harder.”

“We’ve needed to train individually, away from the team environment, because of that you have to be more accountable. You’ve got to make sure you're doing what you need to be in the best condition.”

Alanna's attitude toward developing her football will be music to the ears for coach Tony Gustavsson, following the Swede's iconic comment 'one day better' to describe a team culture where players are always looking for areas to improve.

READ: Tony Gustavsson: "I love that it’s difficult, no team has a tougher schedule"

It will be interesting to see what role Kennedy will play under Gustavsson for the matches against Germany and The Netherlands, as the squad shapes up for a crucial Olympic Campaign and Word Cup preparation.


Match Details

Germany v Westfield Matildas
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Venue: Brita-Arena Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden
Kick Off: 12:05am (AEST)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo, ABC TV, and My Football Live App

Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in Germany is on Saturday, 10 April 2021 at 4:05pm local time.

Netherlands v Westfield Matildas
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Venue: NEC Stadium, Nijmegen
Kick Off: 2:30am (AEST) 
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo, ABC TV, and My Football Live App

Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in the Netherlands is on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 6:30pm local time.