While the June squad for the CommBank Matildas has a host of fresh faces, there are also a number of veteran players looking to the encounters with Emily Gielnik on the challenge ahead for the Matildas.
CommBank Matildas forward Emily Gielnik is one such player, and the 30-year-old spoke to the media on Wednesday morning about the opportunity and challenge ahead of the team.
“I see this as a big opportunity not only for me, but for those players coming in,” Gielnik said. “One door shuts and other one opens, and I'm just using this as another opportunity to represent the green and gold.”
“For me it's more possible that I will be getting some game time so I'll relish in that opportunity. I'm just really looking forward to getting out there to be honest, and it's very, very different circumstances. I feel good about this one.”
A decade ago this month it was Gielnik who was one of the fresh faces in camp when she made her debut for Australia against Japan. Now a veteran of World Cups, Asian Cups and Olympic Games, Gielnik is embracing the switch up for this camp.
"They're all great girls. They're young and willing to learn. It's a very positive, energetic, happy vibe here at the moment, so there's nothing to complain about.”
“It's different just conversing with some different people probably 10 years younger than me [but] it's been a nice change up and I think there's a lot of positives to take from it.”
With Saturday’s encounter fast approaching, the team ramped up preparations in the Iberian sun with ball work, conditioning and a heavy tactical session.
It is all with the knowledge of the Spanish puzzle to be solved on the weekend. Gielnik acknowledged the quality of the emerging European powerhouse but also spoke of Australia’s own attributes and assets.
“I think the world is very aware of what Spain is capable of. They are hands down one of the best in the world right now and obviously preparing for one of the biggest tournaments of their life [the Euros].”
“We've got to really look at our strengths and stop focusing on theirs and just try and take advantage of their weaknesses. We'll try and pick that apart throughout the week and get some tactical training done in the next few days. I am sure we will have a good plan.
“Obviously with a lot of those [Australia’s] big players missing, it's going to be quite challenging getting everyone up to pace of how we play.
“I think for me, I back our midfielders; they are technical and they are talented. I think we kind of have that winning mentality and although Spain plays some beautiful football, I think parts of our game are beautiful as well. “We're winners at heart and we want to win. But for us, it's performance based where we're looking at this as a brick-by-brick situation. The big picture for us is the World Cup.”
Network 10, 10 Play and Paramount+ will have all the match coverage for the CommBank Matildas June internationals against Spain and Portugal.
Saturday’s opening match against Spain will see the broadcast commence at commence at 5.00am AEST.
UPCOMING COMMBANK MATILDAS FIXTURES:
Spain v Australia Date: Saturday, 25 June (local) / Sunday, 26 June (AUS) Time: 9.30pm (local) / 5.00am, Kick-Off 5.30am (AEST) Venue: Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva Broadcast: Network 10, 10 Play and Paramount+
Portugal v Australia Date: Tuesday, 28 June (local) / Wednesday, 29 June (AUS) Time: 9.00pm (local) / 5.30am, Kick-Off 6.00am (AEST) Venue: Estádio António Coimbra da Mota, Estoril Broadcast: Network 10, 10 Play and Paramount+
Credit: Football Australia