Mary Fowler shines on magazine cover as Matildas win big at Women of The Year awards

The Matildas captivated Australia during their run to the Women's World Cup semi-finals.

Mary Fowler and Matildas teammates.
The Matildas were named 'champions of the year', while Mary Fowler will grace the cover of the latest edition of 'Marie Claire'. Image: Getty/Marie Claire.

The Matildas were the big winners at 'Marie Claire' magazine's annual 'Women of the Year Awards' in Sydney on Tuesday night, with the beloved team crowned 'champions of the year' and Sam Kerr named 'icon of the year'. The Matildas captivated the country during the Women's World Cup earlier this year, making the semi-finals for the first time in history.

It marked the first time a male of female Aussie team had made it to the final four at a World Cup. 'Marie Claire' held its annual awards night on Tuesday, and the Matildas were recognised for their historic feats.

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"Not many people could be dubbed an icon before 30, but the Matildas’ captain Sam Kerr is not your average 30-year-old,” the magazine said. “The talented forward, who plays for Chelsea in the UK as well as leading the Australian women’s team, has been one of the driving forces that brought the Tillies not only to where they are today in terms of football, but also into the collective hearts of the nation."

Kerr told the publication: “Playing to packed stadiums around the country, in front of family and friends, while having the whole country support and get behind us was the highlight of 2023 for me. It was a surreal time and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

As well as Kerr being named 'icon of the year' and the team winning 'champions of the year', young striker Mary Fowler will grace the cover of the latest edition of the mag. “When I think about it now, it feels like a dream,” she said about the Matildas' run to the semi-finals.

“It’s hard to put into words the legacy we’ve left behind. I think it’s really special that we can get recognised as a team for the work we did and the journey we’ve had together.”

Matildas players Kaya Simon and Charli Grant, pictured here at the 'Marie Claire' Women of the Year awards.
Matildas players Kaya Simon and Charli Grant at the 'Marie Claire' Women of the Year awards. Image: Getty

Sam Kerr looking to the future with Matildas

Kerr also told Perth Now she's looking towards bigger and better things for the Matildas moving forward. “We obviously went into the World Cup not wanting to come fourth – we would have loved to have gone further,” she said. “But what we created off the pitch was even bigger. We’ve just had a chance to come back to Australia and play the Olympic qualifiers in Perth, and to see sell-out crowds in my hometown was epic.”

The 30-year-old is intent on ushering in a new wave of Matildas players, with the current squad sure to see some turnover before the next World Cup. “We are already seeing changes with funding being announced, which means better facilities and more opportunities for young girls to play the sport," she added.

"I’ve also launched my own football schools, Sam Kerr Football, which will be starting early next year. SKF will hopefully inspire the next generation of kids and give young players the best chance to live out their potential on the pitch and to fall in love with the beautiful game.”

'Marie Claire' Women of the Year award winners:

  • Champions of the Year: The Matildas

  • Icon of the Year: Sam Kerr

  • Entertainer of the Year: Kylie Minogue

  • Eco Warrior of the Year: Lottie Dalziel

  • Voice of Now: Chanel Contos and Maria Thattil (joint)

  • Powerhouse of the Year: Prof. Megan Davis

  • Advocate of the Year: Hannah Diviney

  • Designer of the Year: Rebecca Vallance

  • Rising Star of the Year: Ruva Nywenga

  • Changemaker of the Year: Jess Hill

  • Creative of the Year: Amy Manford and Made Up Stories (joint)

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