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Nov 10, 2012   |  9:26PM AET

Canberra join Matildas on international stage

Canberra join Matildas on international stage

November is set to be a huge month for Australian women’s football. Not only will Canberra United have the honour of becoming the first Westfield W-League team to play in an international club tournament, but the Westfield Matildas will be jetting over to Hong Kong for the second round of qualifying for the 2013 East Asian Cup.

November is set to be a huge month for Australian women’s football. Not only will Canberra United have the honour of becoming the first Westfield W-League team to play in an international club tournament, but the Westfield Matildas will be jetting over to Hong Kong for the second round of qualifying for the 2013 East Asian Cup.

Much has been made of the recent announcement that Tom Sermanni will be taking up the helm of the US women’s football team after the upcoming qualifiers, and he will no doubt be keen to see his former players in next year’s finals in Seoul. But before they can challenge South Korea, Japan and North Korea for the East Asian Cup, the green and gold will first have to overcome their round two opponents China, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei.

“To get to through these qualifiers is an important part of our preparation for the World Cup qualifiers, and also so we can play against the best teams, which we need to do as much as possible,” says Westfield Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.

“We will be taking a very young team, and in some ways an inexperienced team, which is important for the future of the Matildas.”

There’s a definite expectation that the Westfield Matildas will come up trumps in their qualifiers, which will be held between November 20-24, and the competition will coincide with Canberra United’s own international tournament. The reigning Westfield W-League champions have accepted an invitation to take part in the inaugural International Women’s Club Championship.

Heading over to Japan on November 20, Canberra United will be representing the four-club competition as champions of Australia. They will face two Japanese teams – both league and club winners from 2012 – as well as UEFA Champions League winners (and one of the biggest names in world football) Olympique Lyonnais. The French club has dominated national and European women’s football in recent years and it will no doubt be an incredible experience for the girls in green to face one of the best teams in the world.

Australian football has much to be proud of in the women’s game this month. While the Westfield Matildas will have plenty of belief they can make the finals of the 2013 East Asian Cup, Canberra United are justifiably ecstatic to be testing themselves against such quality international competition.

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