Several recently called up Matildas are currently out of contract with their clubs. With the 2023 World Cup on home soil, their next move will be the biggest of their careers.
Australian-based Matildas do have decisions to make in the next few months.
Youngster Kyra Cooney-Cross not only made her debut for Australia but saw game time in both previous friendlies. She received this call up after she returned to the Melbourne Victory for the 2020-21 season and played all matches for the club last season.
Cooney-Cross’ best friend Courtney Nevin also received her first cap and played in the two previous Matildas matches. Having spent the last season with the Western Sydney Wanderers, she saw action in half of last year’s W-League matches, being benched due to fears of burn-out after years of non-stop NPL, W-League and young Matildas camps.
Nevin’s Wanderers coach Dean Heffernan said his decision highlighted the need for a full-time professional league, one that gives players a rest from the cycle of multiple league representation.
As this is not in the cards for the next season, one could pose the question if both new 19-year-old Matildas would be better off to look for a full-time club outside of Australia as the next step in both their club and international careers.
Nevin’s Wanderer’s teammate Caitlin Cooper re-signed with the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2020-21 season. She was not only named club captain but played all but 45 mins for the Wanderers. Her performances resulted in her first call up since 2018. She did not however feature in the most recent features.
Being that Cooper has never played professionally outside of Australia, and that she is 33, her next club play is expected to come from the W-League. Getting more solid performances in club play will be essential for the defender should she wish to wear the green and gold again.
Several European northern hemisphere based players have either left their club or finished the duration of their contracts.
Beatie Goad, made three appearances for the Matildas this year. She joined German club SV Meppen for the 2020-21 season after four years at Stanford University. Goad featured all but one match for the club this past season.
However, Meppen was relegated from the Frauen-Bundesliga on the last day of competition. Moving to a top flight club will arguably be necessary should she want to continue her journey with Matildas.
Laura Brock had a solid year with Guingamp. The defender signed a one-year deal last season joining the French side from the Melbourne Victory. An integral part of the team, Brock has made 19 appearances in all competitions for the club in 2020-21. No news has come from the club as to whether she will prolong her stay.
Aivi Luik was a solid year for her club Sevilla. With 32 appearances, only two coming off the bench, she was an integral part of the Spanish club. No news from either Luik or the club as to whether she will be staying for another season.
No news has also come about Hayley Raso’s future at Everton. The striker joined the Toffees in 2020 and has been a mainstay in the starting lineup this season.
After one season with Tottenham Hotspurs, Alanna Kennedy departed the club following the conclusion of her contract. Kennedy, who featured 23 times for the Spurs.
Emily van Egmond also parted ways with her club West Ham United after one season. She featured 26 times for the Hammers. Van Egmond has been linked to both PSG and Roma.
Kyah Simon also left her club PSV. After a season plagued by injury, moving somewhere where she can regain consistent form will be crucial.
While the number of Matildas who are out of contract or have uncertain contracts may be alarming, it is important to remember that not only are one-year contracts still the norm for the women’s game, but the European transfer window is yet to open.
For all Matildas who are or could be out of contract, the target should be to move to top flight clubs where they can continue to get consistent game time.
As there are a number of other Australians also plying their trade in top flight clubs who are not in the current Matildas line-up, not to mention the plethora of home-grown Aussies in the W-League, good competitive and consistent club play is arguably more important than ever for aspiring or current Matildas.