- Matildas play three Olympic qualifiers in Perth
- First game against Iran from 10pm AEST
- Tamika Yallop will be a key figure in midfield
- The veteran wants the team to focus on football
Matilda midfielder Tameka Yallop believes her teammates have a right to a private life – and called for criticism of their football instead.
Speaking ahead of the Olympic qualifier against Iran in Perth on Thursday evening, the 32-year-old said the online trolling of Ellie Carpenter after the World Cup semi-final loss to England was absurd – and remains puzzled by speculation that it was Young talent Mary Fowler is dating NRL superstar Nathan Cleary.
“We understand that we are a little more in the spotlight now after the World Cup, but we want the attention to be on our football,” Yallop told Daily Mail Australia.
“As a team, we support each other, on and off the field.
“It’s okay to criticize how we play… most of us have played in Europe, so we’re used to receiving feedback on our game, be it positive or negative.”
Matilda midfielder Tameka Yallop believes her teammates have a right to a private life – and called for criticism of their football instead
Tameka Yallop (pictured right) and wife Kirsty with the couple’s daughter Harley Rose
Yallop hopes to feature in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers against Iran, the Philippines and Chinese Taipei (pictured training at the WA State Football Center this week).
“As a playing group we want to leave a legacy.”
Yallop, who made her international debut in 2007, expects to feature against Iran as well as the Philippines (Sunday October 29) and Chinese Taipei (Wednesday November 1).
Sell-out crowds are expected for games at the boutique HBF Park, which has capacity for 20,500 fans, and Optus Stadium, which has capacity for 60,000 fans.
‘I find [coach] “Tony Gustavsson will use a few different players,” she said.
“Some of the girls flew in from Europe and are jet-lagged, so we have to be careful.”
“The flight from Brisbane was different for me, I took a nap and was almost there.”
“We are already in tournament mode and want to put on a show, the atmosphere at the games should be unreal.”
The veteran, who has three-year-old daughter Harley Rose, is also encouraged by Brisbane Roar’s encouraging start to the A-League women’s competition.
They are in second place, only behind league leaders Perth Glory.
“Defensively we look strong and our offense is only going to get better,” she said.
“It was good to beat Sydney FC too.” [last start]“Our rivalry with them goes way back.”