MATILDAS ON THE FRONT FOOT IN BALLARAT
The Australian women’s national soccer team, the Westfield Matildas, will reignite their long-stemmed rivalry with New Zealand’s Football Ferns at Morshead Park Stadium on 4 June.
Sharon Knight and Geoff Howard joined Matildas coach Alen Stajcic, Co-Captain Lisa de Vanna and emerging striker Larissa Crummer to announce that Ballarat is set to host these iconic teams ahead of the all-star double header with the Socceroos on 7 June at Eithad Stadium.
The Matildas are the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) top ranked women’s side and recently qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Victoria has a rich history of supporting international football with more than 95,000 fans turning out to watch Liverpool take on Melbourne Victory at the MCG in 2013, while more than 220,000 spectators saw Real Madrid take on Manchester City and AS Roma at the International Champions Cup last year.
Victoria’s reputation as the sporting capital of the world is unrivalled, with Melbourne being recently named the Ultimate Sports City of the Decade.
In the last 12 months alone, the Andrews Labor Government has secured the return of the Presidents Cup, the World Cup of Golf, the International Champions Cup and a Socceroos blockbuster with Greece.
This match between the Matildas and the Football Ferns will further secure Morshead Park Stadium’s status as the home of regional soccer.
Like Melbourne, Ballarat is set to claim the mantle as the home for elite sport in regional Victoria thanks to Labor’s investment to revamp our sporting venues so Ballarat can continue to attract world-class competitions and events.
Quote attributable to Labor Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
“I am excited to see this incredible team of stars come to our home ground at Ballarat in what will be a spectacular match.”
Quote attributable to Labor Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“This with be the first time the Matildas and the Football Ferns have played in regional Victoria, delivering another major coup for Ballarat’s major events calendar.
“Not since I coached a young Alastair Clarkson and Kaniva High School’s soccer team to victory over Bordertown has regional Victoria been witness to such an impressive spectacle.”