MATILDAS skipper Lisa De Vanna has a vision that places the Australian women’s soccer team in the top five in the world by the end of next year.
The 30-year-old has been capped 104 times for her country, reaching the century in a 3-1 loss to the United States in a World Cup match in June.
In Darwin as part of the Matildas’ Live Your Goals campaign, De Vanna’s 37 international goals have her close to the top of list of all-time goalscorers for Australia.
Only Socceroo Tim Cahill is in front of her with 41 goals.
Already ranked No. 9 in the world of women’s soccer, De Vanna is confident that number will grow to No.5.
“We’re a top 10 nation with world class players, if we can qualify for the (2016) Olympics we’ve got the ability to win a medal there and who knows after that,’’ she said.
The Matildas were back in camp last week after a month of tense negotiations with Football Federation Australia on a new pay deal.
Some reports suggest the Matildas have been offered a minimum wage of $34,000, almost 50 per cent more than their present salary of $21,000, a figure that is yet to ratified.
“We’re close to finalising a deal,’’ was all De Vanna would say on the subject last night.
De Vanna and goalkeeper Lydia Williams hosted schoolchildren from Nakara Primary School yesterday before beginning preparations for next week’s tour of China.
“It’s the beautiful game right around the world and in Australia the women’s game is starting to build up very nicely,’’ she said.
“A lot of young girls want to play for the Matildas and it’s great that we can inspire a nation to do that.
‘I’ve been in the team for over 13 years now and although I have my moments where sometimes the body can’t keep up with the 21-year-olds even though your heart is still very much in the game, I’ve loved playing for Australia.
“Right now we’re headed back to the W-League and then it’s off to China for two matches before we get back to business and start qualifying for the Olympics.
“Let me tell you, sometimes that is harder than qualifying for the World Cup.’’
© 2015 www.ntnews.com.au | This article is originally written by Grey Morris and appeared in www.ntnews.com.au on 9 October 2015.