Never backwards, only forwards.

It’s all about keeping the momentum rolling.

Obviously off the back of the Brazil series, we were fortunate enough to receive a lot of media exposure following our strong performances in Sydney & Newcastle.

At the moment we are displaying quite an exciting brand of football, and as such the China PR series presents us with another terrific opportunity to test ourselves on the world stage, so I know the girls are buzzing for that.

We really don’t want to put a ceiling on what we can achieve, because we have so much confidence and believe amongst the group, that the sky really is the limit.

I’m confident that the preparation we will have leading into these international friendlies will be at the high standards we have set for ourselves.

It’s also really important that we stay grounded too; just because there is a lot of hype around us, doesn’t mean we should get too far ahead of ourselves.

I’m confident we won’t have any issues in that department though.

"It's so good to be home 🙃" - @emilyvanegmond10 via Instagram.
“It’s so good to be home 🙃” – @emilyvanegmond10 via Instagram.

Our group is so humbled, driven and focused, we all know the expectations around the change rooms, so much so that competition for spots is fierce.

At any given time there is always someone there to take your place.

You have to stay at the top of your game and that was my main reason to go abroad to Germany.

To be training and playing against some of the best players in the world, week in week out, has helped me grow as a player and improve areas of my game that needed fixing.

It really must be a headache for Alen Stajcic (team manager) – there is legit 25 players that could push to be in our starting 11.

That was probably one of the main problems a few years ago; we didn’t have the depth of talent but now we’ve got an abundance of it.

That’s what you want – you want a competitive environment, you want people to push each other around camps and games.

It’s making the team better, and individually everyone has improved so much; whether that’s been playing overseas and getting that international exposure, or working as hard as they can here in the W-League, we’re collective a more complete football team.

The chemistry is really building which is a massive bonus for us.

Because a lot of us came in at a young age, and are now in our mid-20’s and not consistent the youngest world team anyway, there is a nice age demographic across the board.

And just the fact we’ve been together for such a long time we’re starting to get that consistency that we haven’t quite had before. Obviously ‘Staj’ has come onboard and the coaching staff, we’ve tweaked a couple of things in our playing and it’s an exciting brand of football that we’re displaying.

We’ve had a bit of success now, with the 2017 Tournament of Nations, followed up by the Brazil series at home. I guess the biggest challenge for us girls now is to carry that momentum into a major tournament.

You look at any of the teams now in the Top 10 and anyone can beat anyone on any given day. That itself gives you confidence going into any game, we just need to back ourselves because we definitely have the ability and the potential. It’s all really exciting at the moment.

Emily Van Egmond

Emily van Egmond is an Australian professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Australian Matildas, and is signed to the Newcastle Jets in the Australian W-League.