Simon revels in ‘awesome’ environment as Westfield Matildas prepare for American test

Gema Simon may be an experienced member of the national set-up but even she admits to being blown away at the quality in the playing group.

Speaking to, Simon said the match-up in Colorado against the reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions was a perfect test to see what level the Westfield Matildas are at.

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“It’s really good,” Simon said of the training camp.

“It’s awesome to be in this environment training with the best players in the country and preparing for the World Cup, I’m looking forward to the team getting everyone in and going from there.

Gema Simon
Gema Simon with a few fans.

“It’ll be awesome, it’s going to be a big challenge. They’ve got quality all over the park so I think it will be a really good game.

“I think it’s very important leading into the World Cup. We’re going to have to beat the best teams there to win that so I guess this is good preparation and it’ll be good to test the squad out and see where we’re at now and see what we need to work on.”

With not all of the squad having arrived, Simon took the opportunity to clear the cobwebs and admitted that the famous high altitude of Denver wasn’t her biggest concern.

“It was really good we just did a short technical session just to flush out the legs after the flight so a nice recovery session and it was good to be back with the girls,” she said

“[We felt the altitude] a little bit in the warm-up, I guess we’re more worried about the actual weather than the altitude to be honest!”


Between the sticks

For so long Lydia Williams has been the Westfield Matildas number one in goal but head coach Ante Milicic is spoiled for choice in the reserves.

Mackenzie Arnold enjoyed a strong Westfield W-League campaign with Brisbane Roar and she is joined in the squad by possible debutant Teagan Micah.

Hear from Mackenzie Arnold in Denver!

Arnold said she was looking forward to working with Micah again as well as goalkeeping coach John Gorza.

“It [training] was good,” Arnold said.

“I think Teagan’s worked with him [Gorza] before growing up and I trained with Teagan when I was about 16 so it was cool to be back with her and training again.”