Westfield Matildas arrive in the Netherlands as World Cup preparation steps up

The Westfield Matildas have begun the next phase of their journey to June’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, touching down in the Netherlands ahead of Sunday morning's friendly in Eindhoven.

After an intense week-long training camp in Antalya, Turkey, Ante Milicic’s squad have switched base to continue the build-up to their opening Group C game against Italy on June 9 (9:00pm, AEST).

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The squad have been pushed to their physical limits, as well as working on key tactical elements, in what has been a vital period in Turkey.

After an early morning start on Wednesday, the Westfield Matildas flew from Antalya to Düsseldorf in Germany before taking a bus the 100km to the outskirts of Eindhoven. 

They trained lightly in Mierlo in the afternoon as the group got their legs moving following the travel day.

“We are just glad to be here now,” attacker Hayley Raso said. “We are really excited (about the Netherlands friendly). It’s coming up quick now.

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“We were just doing training in Turkey and now we are here and we know that we have a game in a couple of days so it’s going to be a big one and it is going to be really good for our preparation for the World Cup.”

The clash against the world’s eighth-ranked nation – who are the current European champions – is the final hit-out for the Westfield Matildas before they begin their quest in France.

Milicic is relishing the opportunity to test what his squad has been working on, in a match against a Dutch side with plenty of attacking power.

Ante Milicic talks tactics with assistant coach Ivan Jolic
Ante Milicic talks tactics with assistant coach Ivan Jolic

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This will be the seventh meeting between the two nations and the first since the Algarve Cup in 2017.

The match at the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS as well as the My Football Live app. It kicks off at 2.15am (AEST) on Sunday, June 2.

You can follow all the build-up and live updates at www.matildas.com.au, or on the Westfield Matildas’ Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.

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FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches

Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)

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)