At first glance, the motto for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup 'Le moment de briller' (Dare to Shine) seems like a pretty standard line for a major sporting tournament and the moments of brilliance fans can expect to see on display.

However, when you think about its application to women’s football, which has always been overshadowed by men’s it becomes so much more than words on promotional banners.

This added meaning has not been lost on the spectators many of whom, like the Sydney based group dubbed ‘The Croissants’ have grown up playing in an environment where even something as simple as properly fitting shorts feels like progress.   


Matildas fans still out in Force

While the Matildas campaign at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup was cut short their support base is still out and about in Lyon.

“We all played, I played with boys until I was 13 years old and you couldn’t play with them anymore and then there’s been a huge change."

"And now we all play for a quite well-established women’s football club and seeing that change over the last ten years has been amazing. We’ve gone from having no funding and having to wear men’s clothes and no supporters coming to watch the game.

"To having crowds at our game and having Nike doing our jerseys and having women’s shorts which up until this year we didn’t have- it seems so silly but it was actually such a big win for us.”

These wins have been hard to come by, with the gender disparity in facility access and wages well documented in the lead up to the World Cup.

However, the 2019 tournament shows signs of a game that is coming into its own.

“I know a lot of my groups of friends back home have become so much more involved with it in the past 6 to 12 months. I think it’s just because they’ve got a world name for themselves and a lot of people know them. They know the name Sam Kerr, they know the names Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso and they are starting to really understand who the Matildas are. Even the home friendly games, the stadiums were packed.”

It almost goes without saying that the key person in this growth of recognition is Kerr as her exploits in front of goal have put her on the radar of football and non-football fans alike.