Inspirational Matildas midfielder receives Key to the City of Newcastle

22 Aug 2023

Novocastrian footballer Emily Van Egmond has been awarded a Key to the City of Newcastle in recognition of the Matildas' heroic efforts during the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

The inspirational midfielder played an impactful role during the Matildas' history-making campaign, which saw them achieve the highest ever finish of any Australian team in a World Cup competition.

Playing her fourth World Cup, Van Egmond came on for the Matildas in the 73rd minute of their opener against the Republic of Ireland before making her mark on the competition with a superb goal in their narrow 3-2 loss to Nigeria.

She secured significant game time for the remainder of the competition and played a key role through the middle as the Matildas went on to finish fourth overall, smashing television ratings and crowd records along the way.

City of Newcastle has a long and proud association with Van Egmond, helping to secure the first paid transfer of a player into the Australian W-League in 2017, when Emily transferred from VfL Wolfsburg to the Newcastle Jets.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Van Egmond, along with fellow Newcastle player and Matildas squad member Claire Wheeler, would be role models for generations of local footballers as a result of the team's game-changing efforts.

"The performance of the Matildas during the Women's World Cup has been nothing short of spectacular, capturing the imagination of the Australian public and igniting a women's sport movement that will be felt for years to come," Cr Nelmes said.

"Whether cheering from the stands, watching on from our Wheeler Place live sites or tuning in from lounge rooms across the city, Novocastrians were there every step of the way.

"We're proud to be able to present this key to the city to Emily Van Egmond today for her stellar efforts on and off the pitch, showing women and girls everywhere that anything is possible."

Van Egmond thanked Novocastrians for turning out to support the Matildas and welcomed the recognition of women’s sport.

“Newcastle is a special place for me and I am honoured to receive the Key to the City,” Van Egmond said.

“Novocastrians have shown their passion for football and I’m thrilled so see the next generation of girls sharing my love of the game.”

Van Egmond joins a prestigious line-up of Newcastle ambassadors to receive a key to the city, including the NRLW Newcastle Knights' 24-woman 2022 Premiership-winning squad, screenwriter and humanitarian Vanessa Alexander, and Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Cook Islands and Niue, Her Excellency the Hon. Patricia Forsythe AM.

Visit the website for more information on the City of Newcastle Ambassador Program.