Matilda Alanna Kennedy thrilled Australia wins World Cup bid

Big win: Rosemeadow Matilda Alanna Kennedy in action (main) and visiting young Macarthur Rams players recently. Picture: Chris Lane
Big win: Rosemeadow Matilda Alanna Kennedy in action (main) and visiting young Macarthur Rams players recently. Picture: Chris Lane

Rosemeadow soccer superstar Alanna Kennedy is thrilled the next FIFA Women's World Cup will be held in Australia.

The Matildas defender spent the early hours of Friday morning filled with excitement and joy following the announcement the joint Australian/New Zealand bid to host the 2023 tournament was successful, beating fellow contenders Colombia after Japan dropped out earlier in the week.

She was one of the most jubilant figures featured in a video released by the Matildas marking the moment the team and staff learned the governing body had selected Australia and New Zealand.

Kennedy, who took to the field against Thailand in an Olympic qualifier at Campbelltown Stadium back in February, said she was ecstatic with the news.

"It's amazing, all the girls were so excited - it was pretty wonderful news," she told the Advertiser.

"What you didn't see in the video was that we were actually on the line with FIFA for a long time before the announcement and we were starting to worry if it would go our way or the other way."

Kennedy said the World Cup occurring on home soil was a great boost for the sport and would encourage lots of girls and boys to take up soccer.

"I never could have imagined, growing up, that Australia would host a Women's World Cup," she said.

"I was lucky growing up in Campbelltown to have had access to some Matildas so knew more about the pathways than a lot of other kids - hopefully this World Cup will allow everyone to feel like it's something they can achieve."

Kennedy said she wasn't sure what she was most looking forward to about the tournament - with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and an Asian Cup still to come before the World Cup - but she couldn't wait for the excitement of the first Australian match.

The former Macarthur Rams player said she was honoured to play for the Matildas and help other young players to grow their love of the sport.

She recently visited the Rams with her friend, and Canberra United player, Patty Charalambous to chat with the youngsters.

"When you're a young girl and soccer is your thing, playing in the GSAP program at Macarthur Rams is an amazing opportunity," Rams' social media coordinator Angela May George said.

"But when two superstars of the women's game rock up to your training session - well, it doesn't get much better than that.

"Some of our young girls tried to play it cool, others were just way too starstruck to talk.

"Still, some important questions needed to be asked: what is your Tik Tok account and how much money do you earn?

"We are absolutely thrilled that Alanna Kennedy, a Matilda and a Campbelltown girl, and our own W-League and former Cypriot Champions League star, Pat Charalambous were able to spend some quality, socially distanced time with our youngest players."

The youngsters were also joined by fellow Matilda Amy Harrison in a later visited.

Kennedy said the Rams' ground was her second home growing up and she was "really proud and honoured" to spend time with the young players of today.