Matildas coach delighted with funding boost

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic is delighted with the funding boost from the Australian Sports Commission as he plots medal glory at the Rio Games this August.

Stajcic outlined his plans for the lead up to the Games in Rio following Thursday night’s draw which placed Canada, Germany and Zimbabwe in Australia’s group.

Westfield Matildas learn opponents for Rio Games

Meet the Matildas opponents at the Games

Speaking from Sao Paolo on Thursday evening, the Matildas coach said the Sports Commission’s funding boost based on medial potential would help massively.

“I’m really appreciative [of the funding boost from] the Sports Commission. It’s a huge boost and in light of the draw it gives us extra motivation.”

The Westfield Matildas starting XI sing the national anthem ahead of kick-off against China.

Stajcic described the draw as tough and challenging with Canada and Germany in the world top 10.

“It’s not going to be easy. Getting through the group is the first step…

“Canada is similar to USA, physical, athletic with some tall players up front and well organised.

“Germany have been a world champion and one of the historic two superpowers along with USA.

“And Zimbabwe, they’re an unknown but the fact they’ve ousted Nigeria and Cameroon shows they’ve got something. And tricky for us is they’re an unknown.”

Ahead of the Games, the Matildas camps structure has been broadly mapped out.

It begins in early May with a camp followed by another camp that month and in June three more.

Kyah Simon and Steph Catley

The Australian camps will feature 16 domestic based players which allow Stajcic to look at building even more depth. 

But on July 1, just over a month from the Games opener, the full squad will get together to ramp up preparations in a full-time preparation mode.

The 10-12 overseas-based Matildas won’t be invited to home-based camps due to the fact that Stajcic wants them to keep playing and training in professional environments.

However, in the FiFA window in May and June these players may return to play friendly games.

While in Brazil for the draw, Stajcic has been talking with other nations about playing friendlies in the lead up. 

On Friday, Stajcic will also be inspecting training venues in Sao Paolo with the Australians playing two games in the city.

Matildas players celebrate Michelle Heyman's first-half strike against DPR Korea.

Stajcic added there’s a chance the Matildas will be based in the hotter location of Fortaleza during the lead up to the Games.

“We’d train in the hot and humid conditions to prepare ourselves for anything we may endure here.

“It’ll be great preparation and allow us even more to play the game plan and tempo in Japan [in the qualifiers]," he said.