Australia women’s national soccer team
The Australia women’s national soccer team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Australia, which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team’s official nickname is “the Matildas” (from the Australian folk song “Waltzing Matilda”), having been known as the “Female Socceroos” before 1995.
Australia is a three-time OFC champion, one-time AFC champion and one-time AFF champion, and became the first ever national team to win in two different confederations (before the men’s team did the same in 2015 AFC Asian Cup). The team has represented Australia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on seven occasions and at the Olympic Games on four, although it has won neither tournament. Immediately following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Australia was ranked eleventh in the world by FIFA.
Australia will co-host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup along with New Zealand, so the Matildas automatically qualify for this event as co-hosts
The Australian Women’s Soccer Association (AWSA) was founded in 1974 and a representative Australian team competed at the following year’s Asian Women’s Championship. A national team made up primarily of players from New South Wales and Western Australia was sent to the 1978 inaugural World Women’s Invitational Tournament, in Taipei, Taiwan. Australia played against club teams at the tournament and none of the players’ appearances counted as official caps. Coached by Jim Selby, the selected players were: Sandra Brentnall (WA), Connie Byrnes (captain, NSW), Julie Clayton (WA), Kim Coates (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Barbara Kozak (WA), Sharon Loveless (WA), Toni McMahon (NSW), Sue Monteath (QLD), Sharon Pearson (NSW), Judy Pettitt (WA), Anna Senjuschenko (WA), Teresa Varadi (WA), Leigh Wardell (NSW) and Monika Werner (VIC).[
Australia’s first official international match was against New Zealand at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday 6 October 1979, as it was billed as the “1st Australian Women’s International Soccer Test”. The Australian team listed in the match programme was Sue Monteath (Qld), Shona Bass (Vic), Kim Coates (Vic), Dianna Hall (SA), Carla Grims (SA), Fiana McKenzie (SA), Sandra Brentnall (WA), Judith Pettit (WA), Sharon Mateljan (WA), Julie Clayton (WA), Cindy Heydon (NSW), Julie Dolan (NSW), Toni McMahon (NSW), Jamie Rosman (NSW), Rosie van Bruinessen (NSW) and Leigh Wardell (NSW). Jim Selby remained as coach and the managers were Noelene Stanley and Elaine Watson. A lack of resources meant Australia’s first eight official matches were all against New Zealand