The passing of Australian football broadcasting great Les Murray inspired the Westfield Matildas in their 6-1 thrashing of Brazil in the USA, it’s been revealed.
Star striker Lisa De Vanna revealed the death this week of the immensely popular broadcaster struck a chord with the Australian women, as they prepared to face the South Americans in California on Friday (AEST) in the Tournament of Nations.
“Today was emotional,” De Vanna told AAP’s Ben McKay (@benmackey) after the win.
“Staj [coach Alen Stajcic] usually puts different things in team meetings and today it was all about Les.
“You could tell in Staj’s voice how much he and [fellow SBS commentator] Johnny Warren meant to him and the game.
“For obviously Polks [Clare Polkinghorne] and Lydia [Williams] who are senior players, we obviously knew all about his legacy and what this man fought for.
“Just like we are fighting to be the best team, to be recognised and to lift the game and the women’s game in Australia."
De Vanna was one of the keys to the romp against the Brazilians, scoring twice and proving a constant menace alongside Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord.
She is now the all-time leading goalscorer in the Matildas with 42 goals, one ahead of the great Kate Gill.
Australia's win, their third straight in the Tournament of Nations, ensured they held aloft the trophy, their first silverware since the 2010 Asian Cup.
“Les was a pioneer. Staj laid out how he was like us women, fighting to show what we can do. And for Australia.
“A lot of the girls took that advice onto the field and it showed.
“To go out and score six goals, it was a bit of a dedication to Les," De Vanna added.
The NSW Government has confirmed there will be a state funeral for Les Murray.