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May 27, 2024

Matildas fever after Adelaide touchdown

Adelaide is undergoing a Tillies takeover after the squad arrived ahead of a sold-out game with China on Friday, and CityMag has caught the fan fever.

  • Words and pictures: Helen Karakulak

The Matildas arrived in Adelaide last night for the first game of a two-match international series dubbed the ‘Til It’s Done Farewell’.


Matildas v. China PR
Adelaide Oval
Friday, May 31 7:40pm

Watch on 10, or Paramount+

The matches played against China PR at Adelaide Oval and then Sydney’s Accor Stadium next Monday is a final send-off for the Tillies on home soil before they depart for the Paris Olympics.

The Adelaide Oval match this Friday is the first time an Australian women’s national football team has played at Adelaide’s biggest stadium.

The game has sold out, with the first release of general public ticketing snapped up within four hours.

With 30,000 tickets sold in Adelaide, the ‘Til it’s Done Farewell matches in Adelaide and Sydney mark 14 consecutive sell-out games the Matildas have played in Australia.

The Matildas last played in South Australia in November 2019, in an international friendly against Chile which sold record attendance of 10,342 fans at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Charli Grant made her debut for the Matildas in 2021, aged 20. She plays internationally for Tottenham Hotspur and has represented the Matildas in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

Adelaide-raised Matildas player Charli Grant says running out onto the home field at Adelaide Oval will be a highlight for her.

“It gives me goosebumps thinking about it,” she says.

“I’ve always come to Adelaide Oval to watch AFL games and I think the A-League was played here as well that I attended, so to now be playing that’s a really special moment.”

(L–R) Lydia Williams, Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison, Charli Grant.

Tourism minister Zoe Bettison said the impressive consecutive sell-outs the Matildas are experiencing is “amazing for women’s sport”.

“Thousands of fans are set to flock to our city for the match, while many more tune in to see just how well South Australia puts on major events – including fans from China, our state’s fourth largest international tourism market,” she said.

The Matildas squad don’t have much free time in Adelaide given they’re starting their training camp, with goalkeeper Lydia Williams saying it’s one of the last times they can prepare for the Paris Olympics.

“It’s nice to send off and be in Australia again, it’s really going to be one of the last games we can play before we play the games that really mean something so yeah, it’s gonna be pretty full on once we get to camp,” she says.

The veteran goalkeeper, who recently announced her retirement after Paris, told CityMag that she’d love to visit the Barossa, but that’ll have to wait until later in August, hopefully as a celebratory wine off the back of an Olympic triumph.

The Tillies have won Australia’s hearts for their chemistry on and off the pitch.

As for Charli, she’d take the Tillies for a beach day if she had the time.

“I think being from down south and if it was a bit nicer weather, I would definitely take them to Southport. That’s my favourite beach down there and it’s beautiful, it’s got some beautiful bakeries.”

The match against China at Adelaide Oval is sold out but can be watched on channel 10 or Paramount+ at 7:40pm, Friday May 31.

As part of Football Australia’s partnership with CUPRA, soccer fans are invited to a meet and greet with three Matildas players between 10am and 12pm on Wednesday, May 29 at 11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide.

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