‘It’s been building for two years’: Kerr out to make World Cup a raging success

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has revealed the pressure and excitement of building up to this year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia, and what it is like having another international star, America’s Kristie Mewis, as her partner.

Tuesday’s reveal of the World Cup ball, with a helicopter stunt at Bondi Beach, was a reminder that the finals are now less than six months away.

Before then Kerr has an English league and European campaign to complete with Chelsea, and Mewis a US league season to start in New York with Gotham FC.

“We’re just raging for the next six months to the World Cup, doing whatever we can,” said Kerr.

“We both feel like we’ve been gunning for this World Cup for so long now that it’s kind of going to be like we’re just giving everything for the next six months and then it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air.’

Speaking to English lifestyle magazine Gaffer the West Australian continued: “It’s so stressful when you have a tournament coming up, one injury, staying fit, getting picked on the team, the pressure of a home World Cup, the pressure of being in form, all those things that go into a World Cup.

Sam Kerr will be back on home soil with the Matildas next month.Credit:Getty Images

“It’s just been building for two years now. So I think we’re both excited and just want to be there and want to do everything we can to perform there. So I think it’s just like rage for the next six months. Then you can take a deep breath.”

Kerr was unable to come home during the pandemic for more than two years and has relished being able to return since, whether in breaks or for internationals. She is next in Australia for matches against Spain, Jamaica and the Czech Republic next month.

“I think this next international window in February is going to be amazing,” said Kerr.

“Every time we’ve played at home we’ve broken a record crowd. Recently we played in Melbourne and we had an amazing crowd. Australians love sport and they love the Matildas.

Kerr’s partner Kristie Mewis comforts the Matilda after Australia lost the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match 4-3 to the US.Credit:AP

“Everyone in Australia is absolutely pumped [about the World Cup]. My family’s pumped because they don’t have to have their passports out and spend thousands of dollars.”

Mewis and Kerr could face each other in the World Cup, but only if both teams reach the final. It would not be the first time though, they last played against each other in Newcastle when the US met Australia in late 2021.

Kerr said she worried that people — especially coaches and teammates — “think we don’t take it seriously because you’re playing your girlfriend… in Newcastle she came on, we were playing against each other, and we went in on each other. We’d kill each other.

“At the Olympics we were so excited to see each other but I didn’t want people to think that we were just at the Olympics to see each other. I know that people don’t think that, but that’s the worry.”

The pair have been very open about their relationship on social media and Kerr said, “I get more fan mail about me and her than just for myself. It’s nice that people support us so much and relate to us so much.”

Mewis added: “If we can change the way one or two people feel about themselves, they can look at us and see that we’re happy and we’re trying to be as successful and we’re an out gay couple, that’s so important.”

“We’re not private people,” said Kerr. “I like sharing who I am outside of football. Football is five per cent of my life.”

Watch every match of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League on Stan Sport. Returns for the Round of 16, with all the action streaming ad-free, live and on demand from February 15.

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