Matilda’s star Lisa De Vanna is happy to take the extra money from the new W-League pay deal but says playing in-front of 17000 people against Brazil this Saturday night in Penrith means more.
This week a new two-year agreement brokered by Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia is expected to see the average contract for W-League players rise from $6,909 to $15,500.
While De Vanna has lauded the W-League pay deal the striker is even more ecstatic about playing in-front of a sold-out crowd against Brazil.
“Besides the money side of things and the agreement with the W League, it’s the sell-out crowd that hits home and makes me a bit more emotional,” she said speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo.
“It makes me a bit more humble and appreciative because I had a different pathway. It’s exciting for the girls now because they don’t have to do what I had to do.
“They’ve got an opportunity to concentrate just on football. But for me I had to work at a petrol station and deal with unpleasant people.
“But that built character and I don’t have any regrets because I’m sort of the pioneer of women’s football when it comes to that.
“The fact that fans and people want to come and see the Matildas shows how far and how long it has taken.”
Last month the Matildas made history when they beat the USA for the first time and after defeating Japan and Brazil took out the Tournament of Nations Trophy.
And De Vanna believes that playing the two- game series against Brazil soon after that result is perfect timing for both fans and players.
“I always had a feeling that after each successful tournament we had that we needed a game straight after because we were so hot, and we were so successful,” she said.
“It just shows how much interest we have for the women’s game. It’s exciting for the future as well. The more successful we are, the more interest Australia has for women’s football.”
De Vanna added:
“What we did against the US was all about belief. Because they are a team that mentally is probably one of the best in the world and for us to keep challenging them to the last minute just shows how much character and growth we’ve had since 2015.”
De Vanna – a veteran of 124 caps for the Matildas - feels that Australia’s intention to bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup has given the squad even more of a boost.
“There’s no bigger tournament than a World Cup,” she said. “To have it at home and sing your national anthem with 30,000 Australian fans behind you, it doesn’t get any better than that and you’re also doing something that you love.
“It’s just so exciting. It’s something that gives you this extra confidence, because you just want to go out there and try your heart out because you know you have the support of the nation behind you.”