Greatness beckons for the green and gold.
A legacy like no other in Australian sport has been built, and Queensland is at the heart of it.
The Matildas have become the nation’s heroes in a matter of weeks, combining class on the field with the typical grittiness, determination and fight that has defined sport in the country since the first cricket Test in 1877.
Sold-out crowds have followed Tony Gustavsson’s team, adoring fans ecstatic to watch the chance of history being created.
Saturday’s enthralling semi-final win over France at Suncorp Stadium proved that, the decibels near-deafening once Sam Kerr took the field.
The volume turned up a notch with each save made by goalkeeper and Gold Coast product Mackenzie Arnold, bettered only by former Brisbane Roar defender Cortnee Vine’s final goal to seal a semi-final berth against England.
The aforementioned pair are two of 10 Matildas in the squad of 23 with Queensland roots, most of whom are playing crucial roles.
Is there something in the water? Vine laughs, but suggests there might be.
“This is my first FIFA Women’s World Cup and to be able to do it on home soil … is a dream come true,” Vine said.
“It might be something in the water, I don’t know what it is. There are a lot of Queenslanders in the squad, and I had the privilege to play with a lot of them at Brisbane Roar when I was younger.
“I don’t know what it is, I feel like we had a really good development program in Brisbane at QAS (Queensland Academy of Sport) that a lot of us came through, and it’s just great.”
Vine – the Peninsula Power junior – is joined among the Queenslanders by Mary Fowler, who in Kerr’s early tournament absence had become one of the breakout stars.
The 20-year-old Cairns woman made history when she became the fifth-youngest Matildas player in history shortly after her 15th birthday.
Fowler’s work in close quarters under a heap of defensive pressure with the ball at her feet has also proved mesmerising, and has justified her high-profile move to English giants Manchester City.
The scary thing, according to Vine, is there is no telling just how high a ceiling is for her young teammate.
“I don’t even know – she can just be amazing. I said to her before the tournament began that she’s going to have a fantastic tournament, and she just has so much more to go,” Vine said.
“She’s still so young, I think we forget sometimes [because] she’s just so mature and knows what she wants.”
Meet Queensland’s Matildas and discover their pathways to the cusp of World Cup glory.