Westfield Matildas make Stephanie Gilmore part of the team

The Westfield Matildas have been spending time with World Champion Stephanie Gilmore ahead of their AFC Women's Asian Cup campaign.

Westfield Matildas Captain Melissa Barbieri welcomed triple World Surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore into the Westfield Matildas family this morning on the Gold Coast.

The Westfield Matildas took time out of their busy training schedule in preparation for the AFC Women-s Asian Cup to meet with the World number 1 and Westfield Matildas number 1, Melissa Barbieri, was delighted to be able to hand Gilmore her very own Westfield Matildas number 1 jersey.

“Stephanie (Gilmore) is a fantastic female athlete that we can all aspire to be like,” said Westfield Matildas- captain Melissa Barbieri.

“Even though our sports are very different she gave us an insight into how she prepares for competition and how she stays relaxed and focused.

“She made the point to never underestimate yourself and I think that-s what a lot of the girls have taken away from meeting her and will take with them into the (AFC Women-s) Asian Cup.”

“It-s really great to meet other female athletes that are performing so well and I feel really privileged to get to meet girls like the Matildas,” said three time WPS champion Stephanie Gilmore.

“I used to play football as a kid and another surfer (World number 2) Sally Fitzgibbon used to be pretty handy with the football so it-s great to make the connection with such a talented team.

“I-d love to go and see them (Westfield Matildas) play in China at the Asian Cup and it-s really exciting to have a kick with them today in my new jersey - I don't think I'm going to take it off for a while.”

With four Gold Coast based Westfield Matildas in the squad, meeting the World number 1 surfer was a boost as they begin the month long camp for the AFC Women-s Asian Cup,

“It was a pretty surreal experience considering she-s (Gilmore) one of my personal idols,” said Westfield Matilda Elise Kellond-Knight.

“Steph said the most important thing about being a professional athlete is to enjoy what you do and that was something I can really relate to.”

Click on the video link to see Stephanie Gilmore and the Westfield Matildas at the camp.

AFC Women-s Asian Cup 2010 Details

Australia v Vietnam Wednesday, 19 May 2010 Chengdu Sports Center, China Local Kick-off: 3.00pm (5.00pm AEST) Match televised live and exclusive on ABC 1 / ABC HD

Australia v Korea Republic Friday, 21 May 2010 Chengdu Sports Center, China Local Kick-off: 3.00pm (5.00pm AEST) Match televised live and exclusive on ABC 1 / ABC HD

Australia v China Sunday, 23 May 2010 Chengdu Sports Center, China Local Kick-off: 4.00pm (6.00pm AEST) Match televised live and exclusive on ABC 2

For further information visit www.the-AFC.com