Australia’s most prolific FIFA World Cup goalscorer says the time is right for the Westfield Matildas to stake their claim for greatness as this year’s tournament prepares to kick-off in Paris, France, in 18 days’ time.
Lisa De Vanna has hit the net seven times for the green and gold across three previous World Cup campaigns, and the 34-year-old was in a positive mood as the team arrived in Antalya, Turkey, on Monday for a 10-day camp ahead of this year’s competition.
“The hard work starts tomorrow, so we’re really excited,” De Vanna said. “It’s been a big long build up for this and it’s just come across so quickly. We’re looking forward to the next 10 days.
“There is no bigger honour or privilege, or sporting event. I’d give up all my medals just to go to a World Cup.
"So to be here for a fourth one…I can’t put words to it.”
De Vanna began her World Cup journey in China in 2007, and alongside goalkeeper Lydia Williams and defender Clare Polkinghorne also featured in the Germany 2011 and Canada 2015 editions.
And the Sydney FC forward believes Ante Milicic’s current Westfield Matildas squad is as strong as it has ever been.
“Lydia, Polks and myself, we’ve gone through all the generations and I can speak on their behalf that this is the team, it’s a golden generation," she said.
“You look at a lot of the girls, it’s probably their third World Cup and they’re still [only] 25. So they’re still young but with a lot of experience. Now they know what it takes to take it to the next level.
If we’re going to do something magic it’s going to be at this World Cup.”