'We're ready to go to the big dance': Matildas assistant coach Ivan Jolic

As the Matildas prepare to kick off their opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ on Sunday evening (AEST), assistant coach Ivan Jolic says the team are "as prepared as they can be" for the tournament.

More than 17,000 supporters are expected at Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes in northern France, for the 9.00pm (AEST) kick-off, as millions more tune in around the globe.

And speaking ahead of today’s match, Jolic said the stage is set for the Green and Gold to begin what they hope will be a long campaign.

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“It has been a pretty long preparation period,” he said. “We are extremely happy with the physical and tactical preparation for the championship and I think we are ready now to go to the big dance.

We are really excited, the players are happy, and we are looking forward to the game today.

'We are ready for the big dance': assistant coach Ivan Jolic
The Matildas go through their paces in training ahead of their opening FIFA Women's World Cup match against Italy on Sunday

“Part of the challenge has been preparing everyone physically. They all come into the camps at various fitness levels and integrating them through and into the team has been a challenge.

"With that in mind the medical staff, S&C [strength and conditioning] staff, and all the coaching staff have done a pretty good job getting the players to a condition both physically and mentally where we feel we can go deep into this tournament, starting today.

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“I was really intrigued to walk the streets and the number of people who were saying hello... the town seems to be really, really excited. We are definitely in a football culture here in northern France and really looking forward to the game.

“We also look forward to seeing the green and gold in the stands. Apparently there will be about 1,500 [Matildas fans at the game], so everything is set for a perfect occasion and hopefully we can deliver the right outcome.”

World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches

Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)

Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)

Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)

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