CommBank Matildas Assistant Coach Mel Andreatta discusses the recent draw for the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup

Tony Gustavsson and Mel Andreatta react to our 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup draw

The CommBank Matildas have learnt their fate after being drawn in Group B for the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. 

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For head coach Tony Gustavsson, who will coach for the first time at an AFC Asian Cup, the competition can't begin soon enough. 

Australia will come up against Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, with the latter a completely new opponent for the side. 

The opening game in Group B will see Australia take on Indonesia. The last time Indonesia appeared in an AFC Women's Asian Cup was back in 1989, where they finished fifth. 

"Always going into a tournament the opening game is kind of a key game you need to focus 100% are getting a good start and that tournament. So right now the focus is going to be in that opening game." Gustavsson said. 

"But once we're in the tournament, you can always update that scouting because you see the second and third opponent in their opening games and their second game respectively. So right now the key game is the opening game" 

Tony Gustavsson and Mel Andreatta in camp, Sydney

With just over two months until our opening match in India, time will be spent preparing the players for the tournament. With a vigorous schedule of football to be played over just two weeks preparation is key.

"And so in terms of the individual player development, that's going to be about 85 to 90% of the time spent in clubs, but in terms of us preparing wants to do coming to us we have a very, very important camp coming up in November, which will be the last kind of FIFA window before we go into announce a roster for next year's tournament," Gustavsson said.

The CommBank Matildas will play all three group stage games at Mumbai Football Arena, with the top two teams in the group guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage. 

"We spend a lot of preparation time it's all about planning every single detail now that's everything from the size of the pitch to the type of grass we're going to play on is it going to be watered or not," Gustavsson explained.

Head coach Gustavsson is looking forward to playing teams he's never experienced before, with Thailand our only group stage opponent Gustavsson has coached against. Gustavsson will be looking to his coaching staff, who are more familiar with other teams in the AFC, one, in particular, will be assistant coach Mel Andreatta. 

"The group presents unique challenges for different reasons. We’ll be taking it one game at a time and make sure we put our best performances in each game." Andreatta said. 

"This is another opportunity for all the playing group - new players, young players, current players, players returning into contention for selection - to find that drive or strengthen the resolve and create that energy, despite already qualifying for World Cup, to still perform," she said. 

Australia Fixtures | AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™

Australia v Indonesia
Date: Friday, 21 January 2022
Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, India
Kick Off: 9.00pm AEDT

Philippines v Australia
Date: Monday, 24 January 2022
Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, India
Kick Off: 9.00pm AEDT

Australia v Thailand
Date: Friday, 28 January 2022
Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, India
Kick Off: 1.00am AEDT