No place like home for CommBank Matildas' Newcastle duo

The Commonwealth Bank Matildas will end 2021 at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle with the second game of this friendly series against the United States. 

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For the squad's two Novocastrians - Emily van Egmond and Clare Wheeler - the chance to play in their hometown in front of their loved ones is incredibly special. 

"It's awesome. We get to come to Newcastle and have a game here so it's special for myself and Clare to be able to play in front of friends and family. I guess this time around we're the lucky ones!" Van Egmond said. 

The Orlando Pride midfielder has been able to play at McDonald Jones Stadium before, including most recently during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers against Vietnam, while Wheeler is looking to make her first hometown appearance in green and gold. 

It's been a huge 12 months for Wheeler who followed up a standout A-League Women's season for Sydney FC with a move to Danish club Fortuna Hjorring and her first few Commonwealth Bank Matildas caps. 

READ: "We need depth in the backline and to be brave enough to get players into these types of games"

MORE: Record-breaking crowd an "incredible experience" for Caitlin Foord and CommBank Matildas

MINI MATCH: CommBank Matildas v USA

Being among the squad is a huge change for the 23-year-old, who can still remember being a fan in the stands when the national team came to town not too long ago

"I remember last time that the Matildas were in Newcastle as a spectator and being around that atmosphere when the girls took on Chile, it's amazing to have a crowd full of people."

With record ticket sales for a Commonwealth Bank Matildas game in Newcastle, a sellout isn't a stretch.

It follows the record crowd of 36,109 people who turned up to Stadium Australia on Saturday to see the first game in this series. 

The support from the Newcastle public is unsurprising to Wheeler. 

"I think Newcastle definitely get behind the women and are a very vocal and a very loud kind of crowd. And that's what  you want from a crowd and we feed off that.

"Having 36,000 people there on the weekend was amazing, it gives you energy and definitely inspires us to keep going. It would be amazing to have that here too." 

Match Details 

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v U.S. Women’s National Team
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 8.05pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and free on Network 10 and simulcast on 10 Play