Let’s celebrate Matildas’ achievements by supporting women’s football on the ground | Paul Connolly

For those who revel in the national side’s success more is needed than congratulatory posts on social media if the game is to grow further

Prevailing wisdom says that you shouldn’t put much store in the promises of a politician, the longevity of an $8 toaster, or the results of friendly football matches. But after the Matildas’ three stunning performances en route to winning the Tournament of Nations it’s hard to be circumspect. It’s harder still to shake the feeling that we might one day look back on the tournament and find that it represented not just a coming of age for the Matildas but – though this might be the champagne talking – perhaps even women’s football in this country.

The Matildas have been one of the best performing national sporting teams – men’s or women’s – for some time. Since 2004, running on the smell of an oily rag and a sense of adventure, they’ve made it to three World Cup quarter-finals, two Olympic Games quarter-finals, and they’ve won an Asian Cup (2010). It seems crazy to suggest that winning a four-team friendly tournament in California – one that the vast majority of Australians didn’t even get to see as it wasn’t on free-to-air TV – can sit alongside those achievements. But in thrashing heavyweights Brazil and Japan and overcoming the world champion USA for the first time in their history the Matildas have swept us off our feet and enticed us with possibilities.

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