Jul 5

Matildas to Play Brazil in Newcastle

Wednesday 5 July 2017 1:00pm

Newcastle City Council has teamed up with the State Government to host the Westfield Matildas national women's soccer team in a match against Brazil at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday 19 September.

The Matildas' first appearance for seventeen years in Newcastle will be the second clash in four days between the seventh-ranked Aussies and eighth-ranked Brazilians.

The fixture comes as Football Federation Australia prepares a Federal Government-backed bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup, a potential opportunity for Newcastle after its success hosting four matches of the men's 2015 Asian Cup tournament.

"Newcastle City Council is delighted to partner with Venues NSW and the State Government to help bring the Matildas to Newcastle," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"Around 23 per cent of all players registered with Northern NSW Football are girls, with more than 11,000 in the Newcastle association, so it will be great for them to see the Matildas on home soil.

"The match is also a great chance for Newcastle to help bolster FFA's bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup. Newcastle proved it can host major football events with our success during the 2015 Asian Cup, when the four games we hosted brought a $13.5 million boost to the Hunter and saw images of the city beamed across Asia."

Newcastle City Council has partnered with the State Government and FFA to host the Matildas, who reached the quarter finals in the 2015 World Cup.

“The partnership between the State Government, Newcastle City Council and the FFA will see the top women’s teams go head to head at McDonald Jones Stadium, as part of a two-match International series,” Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said.

“Female football is the fastest growing area of the sport and this is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in the Hunter to support two of the highest ranked women’s teams in world football.

“Newcastle has a rich sporting history and what better stage to witness these great rivals again go head to head, after the Matilda’s were narrowly defeated by Brazil at the Olympics.”

Novocastrian Matildas member Emily van Egmond said at today's announcement she couldn't wait to wear the green and gold in front of her friends and family.

"The Matildas have never played in Newcastle since I've been involved so to have a match here is awesome and really exciting," said the 23-year-old veteran of 61 caps.

"If you look back there are a host of Matildas who have come out of Newcastle. It has been a strong breeding ground for female footballers, so it's great that we are getting to play here.

"When you have an opportunity to play in front of your friends and family, it's really exciting so I can't wait for match day to come around."

The first game between the Matildas and Brazil in Penrith on Saturday 16 September was also announced by the NSW Minister for Sport and Football Federation Australia today.

FFA announced on 13 June that it had government backing of up to $5 million to bring the event to Australia.

In 2015, Newcastle hosted four international games including the 2015 Asian Cup semi-final match, drawing players, crews and fans from Japan, Palestine, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates to the city.

Last year, McDonald Jones Stadium -- then Hunter Stadium -- hosted rugby league clash between the Australian and New Zealand men's and women's rugby league teams.

Newcastle also hosted the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in 2013, with the opening ceremony at McDonald Jones Stadium.

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