Former Matildas have called on Football Australia to commemorate the centenary of women’s football in Australia with a special match on 24 September against arch rivals New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane.
It was on that date at that venue in 1921 when the first ever public women’s football match in Australia was held between North Brisbane and South Brisbane.
North won 2-0 thanks to goals from H Breeze and Jean Campbell.
So 2021 effectively marks 100 years of the women’s game down under and former Matilda Angela Iannotta believes a game against our ancient rivals and 2023 World Cup hosts New Zealand, is the perfect way to mark the occasion.
“Wow 100 years! We have certainly came a long way and of course New Zealand are our neighbours and in the last 40 odd years they are and have been our biggest rival on the park.
“A game against them would be a fitting way to celebrate 100 years and it’s great publicity for the 2023 World Cup.”
Iannotta herself has a special place in our footballing history, becoming the first Australian to score a goal at a World Cup in 1995 against China.
“It’s a privilege to be part of Australian football history...we have certainly come a long way and I'm sure the Matildas will become one of the strongest nations in the world.”
Trixie Tagg, the first woman to coach the Matildas, is supportive of the idea but also suggested a state v state game if Covid restrictions stop New Zealand coming to Australia.
“Always a good idea to play a game or two between AUS & NZ. Include games for Young & Jr Matildas as well. Should appeal to all the fans.
Tagg, who has never officially been capped by Australia, was part of the Australian XI that played in the inaugural Asian Cup in 1975. That team has never been officially recognised by Football Australia despite numerous calls from past Matildas to do so. She admits past players would love to be involved in centenary celebrations.
“Hopefully this will be one of many such celebrations of the women’s game in our 100th year.”