While the outbreak of COVID in 2020 may have scuppered the plans of many, 2021 is shaping up as an exciting year for the Westfield Matildas.
There are less than 200 days until the Tokyo Olympics women's football tournament kicks off, where Australia will be one of 12 nations represented.
Here are a few key dates and events to put down on your 2021 calendar.
*Please note that some details listed below are subject to change due to the ever-evolving impact of coronavirus.
The Tony Gustavsson era commences
January 2021 marks the official commencement of Tony Gustavsson's role as head coach of the Westfield Matildas.
Last September it was announced that the Swedish mentor would lead Australia in two Olympic campaigns (Tokyo and Paris), at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India in 2022, and significantly, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023™.
Gustavsson is already getting to know the players as planning continues for his first training camp with the squad in 2021.
2021 Tokyo Olympics Women's Football Tournament
Group Stage: July 21 (Wed), 24 (Sat), 27 (Tues)
Quarter Finals: July 30 (Fri)
Semi Finals: August 2 (Mon)
Bronze Medal Match: August 5 (Thurs)
Gold Medal Match: August 6 (Fri)
Just as the COVID pandemic turned the world upside down, the Westfield Matildas secured passage to the 2020 (now 2021) Olympics.
Twelve nations (ten confirmed) will take to the pitch in Tokyo:
Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, USA, Zambia, Korea Republic or China PR & Cameron or Chile
Out of these nations, Australia will be drawn in one of three groups of four nations.
The top two teams from each group as well as the two best third placed sides will qualify for the Quarter Finals, where the tournament's knockout phase commences.
No Australian football side has ever come home from an Olympic games with a medal and the Westfield Matildas will be primed and eager to make history in 2021.
While international friendlies against the USWNT and Canada were unfortunately postponed in April 2020, 2021 could well see these fixtures back on the table.
While details are yet to be confirmed and there are no dates to put down in the dairy as of yet, the Westfield Matildas will be hoping to test themselves against some of the best nations in the world in 2021.
At youth level, our Westfield Junior and Young Matildas will also be in action throughout the year so be sure to keep an eye out on Matildas.com.au for the latest surrounding their camps and tournaments.