The Commonwealth Bank Matildas are back in action after the Olympics, taking on the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
With the AFC Women’s Asian Cup next year and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023, this friendly is the beginning of the next stage of work for the team on the journey to that home World Cup.
This camp has had a distinct focus on individual player preparation and bringing new defenders into the fold as the team looks to increase the player pool in every position.
The match will also be a celebration of captain Sam Kerr who will become the 10th Commonwealth Bank Matilda to reach the 100 cap milestone.
Standing between the team and a win is the Republic of Ireland. Head coach Vera Pauw and her charges will be looking to the game as a tune-up as the Irish prepare for FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Ireland’s first qualifier against Georgia was scheduled for earlier this window but was postponed.
While Australia and Ireland have never played against each other several players are well acquainted with each other from both the W-League and leagues overseas.
Irish captain Katie McCabe will face off against Arsenal teammates Steph Catley and Lydia Williams while Denise O’Sullivan will remember lots of Commonwealth Bank Matildas from her stints with Canberra United and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Ultimate Guide: Ireland v Australia
What they said
Commonwealth Bank Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson
“What I do know with Ireland, and I think we're going to see that tomorrow, it is a team that is very well organised and really fight hard for the team. It's going to be a physical game, a physical battle.”
"There’s a lot of openings and a lot of opportunities for other players to get game time and step in and give us an opportunity also to look at some new players and changing from the performance mode and Olympics now to prep mode for the World Cup in 2023.
"It gives us an opportunity to experiment and try some stuff. That doesn't mean we're not going to try to win the game, always when we step on the field we play to win. But we do it also with a long-term preparation in the back of our mind, especially when it comes to [new] players."
Republic of Ireland Manager Vera Pauw
“Australia recently finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics. We know just how good they are and this opportunity to test ourselves against such a top-class opponent is one that we are ready to make the most of.
"We have never played against Australia at senior level before so this fixture is a first in many ways. Crucially, though, it acts as another chance for us to work together as a group to be in the best position possible for our first 2023 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Commonwealth Bank Matildas: LLWD
Republic of Ireland: LLLL
Commonwealth Bank Matildas: 11
Republic of Ireland: 33
Republic of Ireland v Commonwealth Bank Matildas
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
Kick Off: 4:00am (AEST)
Broadcast: Live and free on 10 and simulcast on 10 Play. Pre-game coverage from 3.30am AEST.