Last week saw a landmark decision made by the Football Federation Australia, and Professional Footballers Australia, that closes the pay gap between Australia’s National Teams, the Caltex Socceroos and the Westﬁeld Matildas.
Significantly for the Matildas, the Tier 1 player will now earn the same amount as the top Caltex Socceroos. FFA’s Parental Leave Policy will also be reviewed and upgraded to provide further support for Matildas during pregnancy and when returning to National Team duty.
Tonight, the Matildas will play in Adelaide for the first time in ten years. Ahead of the game, we had a chat to players Jenna McCormick, Sarah Willacy and Emma Checker.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
JM: I always eat peanut butter, banana and honey on toast.
SW: Drink coffee
EC: Always start game day with a walk, coffee and a good podcast
What is your pre-game tune?
JM: Mood by Jess.
SW: Whatever the team plays.
EC: Black Skinhead Kanye West.
Who is the team clown?
JM: Emily Gielnik always has a joke!
SW: Emily Gielnik or Ellie Carpenter.
EC: Emily Gielnik.
What is your most memorable Westfield Matildas moment?
JM: Definitely my debut! To play in front of my family in Sydney vs Chile will be a day I never forget.
SW: Getting called into the squad for the first time.
EC: Making my debut in 2012. It was the one moment I always dreamed of growing up as a kid. I will forever hold the feelings and emotions of the moment close to me as something I am proud of.
Who has been your biggest influence during your sporting journey?
JM: My Dad! Loved watching him play growing up and got my love for the game from him.
SW: Melissa Barbieri.
EC: I can’t pinpoint one person. I was fortunate enough to have two very supportive parents growing up and still now. Their sacrifices and support have been a huge part of where I am today.
What does it mean to you now knowing that the pay for women and men is finally equal?
JM: It’s a great step towards full equality in the sport and great recognition for all of the achievements being made by inspirational athletes.
SW: Its exciting that female athletes are finally getting recognised for all the hard work and effort they put in.
EC: It’s great for a number of reasons. Firstly its rewarding to be recognised for the hard work and success and secondly it creates a clearer goal to aspire towards for the younger athletes.
How do you think it will influence women’s football in the next few years?
JM: Hopefully we’ll see the game grow and more young girls play the world game!
SW: It will have a positive impact on younger girls, I think more and more will want to play soccer
EC: Girls/women can now make a career out of football which will hopefully help in player retention along with attracting more girls to play.
Will this attract more international players to the W-League?
SW: I think it will because many of the girls play in the W-League making the standards higher which attracts international players.
EC: The more women’s football progresses in Australia, the more likely it is we’ll attract high calibre players to the W-League.
Where do you like to eat and drink in Adelaide?
JM: I like to eat anywhere! Not really fussy- as long as I have my family with me!
EC: My favourite café in Adelaide is Peter Rabbit
What is different about Adelaide’s crowds compared to interstate crowds?
SW: I think the crowd will be more excited because the Matildas have not played in Adelaide for over 10 years.
EC: Adelaide crowds are underrated. SA is a die-hard sporting state full of passion and heart. I love a home crowd so nothing will ever compare to an Adelaide crowd for me.
Matilda’s will play against Chile tonight at 7.30pm at the Coopers Stadium. Click here to grab last minute tickets.