Matildas star Sam Kerr has hinted that she would like to be around for the next World Cup after Australia finished fourth after losing to Sweden in the playoff game. A number of Matildas are already looking to future tournaments with the squad having made history at home to reach the semi-final of the World Cup.
Kerr carried an injury throughout the tournament, while Alanna Kennedy was ruled out of the final two games due to concussion, which hampered preparations. Under Tony Gustavsson, the team made history but fell short of a maiden medal.
'SHOULD BE STOOD DOWN': Aussie legend blasts World Cup kiss
And with momentum firmly behind the Matildas, attention has already turned to the squad's core as a number of players approach retirement. Players such as Lydia Williams, Clare Polkinghorne, Tamkea Yallop, Katrina Gorry and Kyah Simon are all 30 years or older and are unlikely to feature in the next World Cup.
Kerr is one of the biggest names in football and is undoubtedly the biggest name for the Matildas. Her presence against England was enormous and the Chelsea forward scored the goal of the tournament in her first start in the World Cup.
And while Kerr admitted she was hurting from the third-place playoff loss against Sweden, she has already reiterated her desire to keep playing for the Matildas after this World Cup. "I hope to be here. I am only 29. I think most of us will still be here if we have the opportunity," she said about playing on to the 2027 World Cup.
"We have to play at our club. We have to play well and stay injury-free. There might be a few more babies maybe. I don't know. Four years is a long time but I hope the core group is still together.
"Of course there will be people come into the side and take someone's position and people that might not want to keep playing but at the moment I haven't heard talks of anyone retiring. As long as there are 22 spots everyone here will be fighting for four years to come."
Sam Kerr discusses Matildas squad
Kerr was also full of praise for the younger players in the team with Mary Fowler in particular emerging as a future superstar for the Matildas and in world football. "Obviously we have got lots of young players in our team like Mary (Fowler) and Ellie (Carpenter) and you think we are in a really good place here," Kerr added.
"You look at the other end (of the age spectrum) and you think we could lose a few and that's sad but that is sport. There are probably 10 or 12 players that we have never heard of that will be at the next World Cup and that is exciting.
"There are a couple of players at this World Cup that probably won't be in the Matildas team anymore. They would have retired but you never know. That is the amazing thing about sport and why this tournament is special. It only happens every four years and the teams are forever changing. Women's football is changing quicker than people could have ever imagined."
The Matildas were honoured with a celebration the following day after their loss to Sweden for helping drive the success of this year's World Cup. And in a surprise moment, Sydney 2000 Olympics opening ceremony star Webster stunned the players when she emerged on stage to sing her famous Aussie song, 'Strawberry Kisses'. Earlier in the tournament, the Matildas revealed the song had become the locker room 'go to' as they charged towards the semi-finals.
And the surprise appearance from Webster was evident upon Kerr's face as the players got around the singer in a brilliant moment to end their campaign. Fans couldn't help but swoon over the moment.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.