Roestbakken: 'I couldn't believe it when I got the call'

Australia’s newest Matilda has spoken of her delight at being called up to the squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

Eighteen-year-old Canberra United player Karly Roestbakken was last week named as an injury replacement for Laura Alleway for the tournament, having previously joined the Matildas squad on standby when it became apparent that Alleway was struggling with a foot injury. 

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Roestbakken – who was nominated for the Westfield W-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year for 2018/19 – has represented Australia at youth level, and has been taking part in the Young Matildas program, which is designed to prepare players to step up to the full international side. 

“It has always been my goal to play for the Matildas and to get the call up… I wasn’t expecting it this soon," she said. "I am so honoured and so grateful to be standing here today.

“I was just at home in Sydney and I got a call from [team manager Vito Basile]. I couldn’t believe what he was saying.

I got off the phone and called my parents, and my Dad and my Mum were speechless. They couldn’t believe it either.

“All the girls and the staff have been excellent. Coming in and transitioning from the Young Matildas to the full women’s team, the girls have been great and really supportive, and so have the staff.”

Roestbakken delighted at world cup call up
Karly Roestbakken warms up ahead of the Matildas' opening World Cup match against Italy on Sunday

While delighted to join up with the team – which on Monday moved from Valenciennes in the north of France to Montpellier in the south ahead of Thursday's second group game, against Brazil (kick-off 2:00am Friday, 14 June, AEST) – Roestbakken spared a thought for the injured Alleway. 

“I am absolutely gutted for Laura [Alleway], she is an amazing player and she does deserve to be here," Roestbakken said. 

"[But] these things happen in football and it is unfortunate. I wish her all the best in her recovery.”

World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches

Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)

Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)

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