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Why “iconic” Matildas captain Kerr is equipped to handle World Cup pressure


Football pundit and former national player Grace Gill has weighed in on the pressure Matildas captain Sam Kerr must be feeling with a home World Cup just over two weeks away.

Gill believes Kerr - an international icon - would be under immense stress, but expects she will be able to handle the pressure.

“She puts a lot of pressure on herself because she wants to be as good as she is,” Gill told SEN Breakfast.

“She’s also the type of player who can stand up to the pressure… She lifts herself individually, she lifts players around her.”

The quality of Kerr’s leadership and personality will be under the microscope as she leads the Matildas in their first ever home World Cup shared with co-hosts New Zealand.

“Sam Kerr’s the kind of character who will lead by example on the field in terms of effort, tenacity, and what she does for the team,” Gill added.

“She is the most iconic, current sportsperson we have and to come into a home World Cup with that kind of expectation on her shoulders is huge, but I think if anyone can carry that sort of weight, it’s Sam Kerr.”

Kerr aside, Gill provided some insight on who to look out for in the Matildas squad.

“I think Courtney Nevin will have a breakout World Cup… Alex Chidiac as a creative midfielder and then even some younger players in the likes of Charlotte Grant and Kyra Cooney-Cross are exceptional midfield talent coming up in the side.”

The Matildas play their opening match against the Republic of Ireland at Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 20, and will then play further games against Nigeria and Canada to round out their Group B fixtures.

The World Cup is set to commence on July 20 when New Zealand hosts Norway in Group A in Auckland

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