On the back of a successful FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign, the Matildas have their eyes set on the 2024 Paris Olympics. However, they must qualify by defeating Uzbekistan over 2 legs, firstly away and then at home in Melbourne, before booking their flights to France.

Former ABC journalist Tracey Holmes expects a podium finish for the Matildas at the Paris Olympics.

“Everyone must be sick of getting fourth place and finishing just outside the medals, we do keep edging closer but it’s that hurdle of jumping from fourth into a medal position which is so large and that’s the most difficult prospect of all.

It will come down to how well they [The Matildas] feel mentally and emotionally as it’s been such a big year you would think some fatigue has set in and how they handle the pressure on the day.”

Tony Gustavsson is contracted until the end of the Paris Olympics, with his future as Matildas Head Coach in question after reportedly being made offers elsewhere.

“If you were in Tony Gustavsson’s shoes and someone came along like the USA and offered you the job, you would probably take it. If we (Australia) were to entice him to stay here, we would have to finish in the medals for him to be offered a job and the next job offer would have to come with a pay rise.”

On the back of the excitement generated from the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the A-league Women’s competition, that started off with a record crowd at the Sydney derby, the growth of women’s football continues to build momentum. With a continued focus on the legacy of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for Australian women’s football, important milestones like record crowd numbers help ratify legacy benefits.

“I’m sick of the ‘be patient’ line. One of the reasons why the (FIFA Women’s) World Cup was so successful was due to the media coverage, when it is everywhere that’s what drives crowds and led to the continued fantastic momentum after the World Cup. Names beyond Sam Kerr have become familiar in households.”

The final hurdle for the Matildas to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics is a two-leg playoff with Uzbekistan. The first leg is scheduled for 24th February in Uzbekistan, and the return leg on the 28th February in Melbourne, Australia.

Box2Box partner, the Green & Gold Army has all inclusive packages to travel to Uzbekistan and support the Matildas on the away terrace. Details of the packages and arrangements can be found here: https://ggatravel.com.au/matildas_olympic_qualifer/