The City of Newcastle and McDonald Jones Stadium have teamed up to promote the Matildas national women's soccer team across the city ahead of their match with Chile next month.
Twelve banners bearing images of the players were unveiled today by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes and Emily van Egmond, the team's Newcastle-raised vice-captain, to help raise the profiles of our national stars and promote the 13 November fixture.
Emily van Egmond and the Lord Mayor with the flag bearing Emily's image.
Images of the footballers, who at seventh in the world rankings fare much better than our men's national team, will be emblazoned across city on the 1.2m x 50cm banners or flags.
"From today action shots of them will fly in prime positions along Turton Rd at the entrance to McDonald Jones Stadium, Merewether St next to the City's Newcastle Museum and in Break Block Park at Honeysuckle until just after the match," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
"These banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women's sport.
"I'm thrilled to welcome the Matildas back to Australia’s hottest sporting city because Novocastrians are still talking about last year's win against Brazil when Sam Kerr celebrated a goal with a back-flip.
“Newcastle is now hailed for hosting both national and international sporting events including the Asian Cup Football tournament, The Newcastle 500 Supercars, and most recently the A-League Grand Final, plus rugby and rugby league Test Matches."
Newcastle was selected by Football Federation Australia after a bid put together by Venues NSW with financial support from City.
“Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the Matildas are one of our greatest success stories in terms of record-breaking home game crowds and international achievements.
“Novocastrians love their sport and no team is more inspirational than the mighty Matildas,” Mr Ayres said.
"These fantastic banners will serve as a beacon to young local girls that they too can make the big time and is yet another example of how Newcastle is getting behind women's sport."
The night time Test will be the second of a two-match series, following the first in Penrith on Saturday 10 November.
After wowing Novocastrian football fans with a 3-2 win over Brazil almost 12 months ago, the Westfield Matildas will take on their sister World Cup qualifiers from South America on Tuesday 13 November.
Sam Kerr, the most popular current footballer among Aussie fans, including players of both sexes from the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-league, will return with the team.
The two-time Football Media Association International Player of the Year and 2018 Young Australian of the Year bagged a brace and set up a third goal in the comeback win over Brazil in September 2017 to clean sweep the two-match series.
Hunter residents will also get to see Newcastle-raised van Egmond turn out in the midfield.
Van Egmond's father, Gary, a former Socceroo and Jets coach, is the team's assistant coach
City of Newcastle actively promotes Women's Sport and is a proud sponsoring partner of the Newcastle Jets Westfield W-League team