Young veteran Van Egmond primed

It feels like Emily van Egmond has been around for some time, so it is hard to believe she only left her teens a few months ago.

It feels like Emily van Egmond has been around for some time, so it is hard to believe she only left her teens a few months ago.

Despite her relatively tender years, Van Egmond has already packed much into her career. There have been stints at two of the biggest clubs in the US, a spell in Denmark, and she is already onto her third Westfield W-League club following the recent move to Western Sydney Wanderers.

Most local fans, however, know Van Egmond for her contribution in the Green & Gold. The Newcastle-born youngster has been a virtual ever-present in national team squads since her debut in early 2010. Perhaps the highlight though was becoming one the few Aussies to score at a World Cup, which she did in a memorable 3-2 win against Equatorial Guinea at Germany 2011.

Now the next FIFA Women-s World Cup looms on the distant horizon with next year-s AFC Asian Women-s Cup - where Australia will start as defending champions - to double as qualifiers for Canada 2015.

The two-match series against China - the second instalment of which takes place on Wednesday night in Sydney - is the first of many building blocks for next May-s title defence. After remaining on the bench in the Westfield Matildas 2-0 win in Wollongong on Sunday, van Egmond is likely to see plenty of game time on Wednesday amid a hugely competitive midfield contingent.

“I can-t wait, and if I get an opportunity I just want to get out and enjoy it,” van Egmond said.

“We played China last November and we didn-t win, and they were very good. China are very good at keeping the ball, but we were able to capitalise (on Sunday) by scoring two early goals. I thought it was a promising performance and it looked good from the sidelines.

“Obviously we are still building towards the philosophy we are trying to implement here (in the team). I still think we have a long way to go but we are definitely on the right track.”

Van Egmond had a first taste of playing in the United States last year alongside FIFA Women-s World Player of the Year Abby Wambach. She returned this year for the maiden season of the National Women-s Soccer League with Seattle Reign where Stars and Stripes- superstars Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe were among her team-mates.

“I enjoyed every single moment of it,” said van Egmond about her times in the States. “It wasn-t easy but I wanted to push myself and train alongside some of the players we had in that team. Definitely it helped (my game), I loved being in Seattle and I would like an opportunity to go overseas again.”

Van Egmond is raring to go for the Wanderers this weekend when Brisbane Roar brings their all-star line-up to Sydney. And van Egmond is keen to be a leader in a team shorn of most of their experienced personnel following a shocking run with injuries.

“I-m fully fit, and feeling good,” says van Egmond. “I had a pretty good pre-season with the Wanderers. We have the young girls in there for now so we have to keep building with them and maintain that same philosophy and culture.

“It is always good to be looked upon as a leader in a team. Obviously we don-t have much experience on the field at the moment so I will be one of those ones that will be looking to step up and lead the way.”

Westfield Matildas v China PR

Parramatta Stadium Wednesday 27 November 2013 Kick-off: 7.00pm AEDT

Ticket Prices Adult - $20 Concession - $12 Junior - $12 Family - $56

Family: 2 Adults + 2 Juniors or 1 Adult + 3 Juniors Concession: Person holding a current Aged, Seniors, War, TPI or Invalid Card. NO STUDENTS. Patrons must show ID upon request. Junior: 3-16 years (inclusive). 2 years & under free on knee.