Josh Kerr says St George Illawarra Dragons won’t talk up finals hopes under Anthony Griffin


“I’ve come back and we’ve had a reshuffle of staff but the culture here is so similar to what it was for Queensland,” Kerr said on the Dragons’ second day of training for 2021.

“I don’t want to say anything bad about the years past but this is a refresh of everything.

“The culture they’re building here just reminds me so much of being in [Origin] camp.”

Kerr has clearly taken a leaf out of Bennett’s book: he has already reminded his teammates to talk their hopes of climbing the NRL ladder down.

“I was saying to the boys before – we’ve always fallen into the trap at the Dragons of talking about how good our team is and how well we’re going to do. And then we don’t make the eight. It’s embarrassing,” Kerr said.

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“We always say we’re going to do these things but we never do it. Not trying to sound big or anything but I’d rather just do it.

“I’d rather just go out there, play well and win games (without) telling you how good we’re going to go when we haven’t made the eight in the last few years.

“I don’t want to be rude by saying that but we’ve just fallen into that trap too many times over too many years.”

The “best month” of Kerr’s life – Origin camp – is also providing motivation for the prop who wants to make his Queensland debut sooner rather than later.

“I just thought ‘I could only be myself’ in that camp and to have that culture and that environment that they have – and you can definitely see it,” Kerr said.

“To be coached by Wayne Bennett – when I was a kid he was old as – it was crazy.”

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Dick, Kerr Ladies attracted 53,000 fans on Boxing Day 100 years ago. A year later, they were banned


The year is 1920. It’s Boxing Day and Goodison Park stadium in Liverpool is packed to the rafters with 53,000 supporters.

As many as 14,000 fans have been left outside, unable to get into the ground.

However, this capacity crowd is not there to see the male players of two-time First Division and 1906 FA Cup champions, Everton.

Instead, they have come to catch a glimpse of an amateur women’s team, albeit arguably the best women’s team of all time, Dick, Kerr Ladies.

Yet, despite the people voting with their feet by flocking to see them play across the world, what should be looked back on as one of the crowning glories of football instead holds bittersweet memories as that success sowed the seeds for a ban that would devastate the women’s game for half a century.

The Munitionettes

Women’s football was pushed to the fore in the early 20th century.

During World War I, with men taken from factories and sent to the killing fields of the Western Front, women stepped up to take their place to ensure Britain’s industrial might was repurposed to supply troops on the continent.

As the female workforce grew — particularly in munitions factories, where they were referred to as the Munitionettes — a large number took up football as a form of after-work extracurricular activity.

There were knock-on effects on these new teams.

Since 1915, men’s league football in England had been suspended, leading to a dearth of sporting entertainment for those at home.

With funds for military hospitals running desperately low, female factory teams were approached to play fundraising — and morale-boosting — football matches.

Dick, Kerr Ladies competed in a large number of charity matches to help the war effort.(Supplied: Twitter)

They proved to be very popular.

In Dick, Kerr Ladies first match against Arundel Coulthard Foundry, 10,000 supporters flocked to Preston North End’s Deepdale stadium on Christmas Day, 1917.

The match raised a colossal 600 pounds — which equates to roughly 26,358 pounds today ($46,800) — for the local Moor Park Military Hospital.

The ladies never looked back.

Trailblazing internationals

Gail Newsham grew up in Preston, a stone’s throw from the site of the Dick, Kerr factory.

Despite being a local, she knew little of the world-famous trailblazers that lived and played on her doorstep until a chance meeting with a former player in 1991 sparked a drive to preserve the team’s memory.

After two decades of research, Newsham said there was one reason for their success. Their ability.

“When I was doing my research in the early 90s, I met a couple of gentlemen who had seen the Dick, Kerr Ladies play,” Newsham said.

“I asked one of them why he wanted to watch the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

“There was nothing gender related, wanting to see women in shorts, anything like that. It was the quality of the football that made him want to go, and that’s why he went.”

He was not alone.

Dick, Kerr Ladies became a big drawcard across the United Kingdom and overseas, as one of the first recognised women’s international teams.

The team hosted a French side from Paris in the north-west and London, raising money for the National Association of Discharged and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors.

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They then travelled to France, becoming the first women’s team from the UK to partake in an overseas tour, playing matches in Paris, Roubaix, Le Havre and Rouen in front of a total of over 62,000 spectators.

Back home, they played the first-ever women’s match under floodlights at Deepdale — for which they borrowed two anti-aircraft lights with permission from the secretary of state for war, Winston Churchill.

A world record crowd at Goodison Park

With support for Dick, Kerr Ladies continuing to grow, the team met St Helens Ladies on Boxing Day 1920 at Everton’s Goodison Park.

Two football players look to fans who are cheering.
Goodison Park is used to hosting packed houses for men’s matches, but first hosted a world record crowd for a women’s match that stood for 99 years.(Reuters: Andrew Yates)

Crowds had always been healthy for these charity matches, but the Goodison game was something else.

“I don’t think anyone dreamt at how big it would be,” Newsham said.

The 53,000 fans in attendance that day set a record for women’s football that was only beaten last year, when 60,739 people saw Atlético Madrid host Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano in March 2019.

The Boxing Day match alone raised 3,115 pounds for charity, or 140,143 pounds in today’s money ($248,830).

Newsham said there was not a lot written about that particular match, but there were still some interesting subplots.

Star striker Florrie Redford missed the train to Liverpool, leaving Dick, Kerr Ladies with something of an issue up front.

Jennie Harris was moved to centre forward and scored the only goal of the first half to give Dick, Kerr Ladies the lead at the break.

In the second half though, a hat-trick from “captain fantastic” and right back Alice Kell completed a 4-0 victory.

The Ban

Two women's football teams are pictured in front of a crowd of spectators
Dick, Kerr Ladies played 67 games in 1921, all for charity.(Supplied: National Football Museum)

Throughout 1921, the matches came thick and fast for Dick, Kerr Ladies, but storm clouds were brewing for the women’s game.

League football had resumed in 1919 after the Great War, with men coming back from the front to resume their former lives.

However, in every aspect of life in 1920’s Britain, women were finding their voice in society. Suffrage had been granted to women over the age of 30 in 1918 — although genuine equality only came in 1928 with universal suffrage for those aged over 21.

However, in sport, patriarchy still ruled.

The Football League — men’s, there was no women’s league despite its evident popularity — at that point was made up of 44 teams, in two divisions of 22 teams each.

In 1920/21, the Football League absorbed the Southern League to create the Third Division, increasing the number of clubs playing nationally to 66.

The year after, they added a further 20 clubs and split the Third Division into North and South regions.

The pie was being sliced into increasingly smaller pieces — and the game’s powerbrokers felt that the women’s slice was getting too large.

On December 5, 1921, just under a year after the spectacularly successful match at Goodison Park, the Football Association (FA) banned women from using its grounds, saying football was “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged”.

The FA did not recognise women’s football again in any form until 1969, almost 50 years later.

Incidentally, Australia’s governing body followed suit in 1922, although Fiona Crawford and Lee McGowan write in their book, Never Say Die, that the “fragmented state-based structure … meant the ban was not directly or effectively put in place”.

Newsham believes it was likely that the success of the match at Goodison Park was the “death knell” for the women’s game in England.

“It’s only my personal opinion, from talking to the women who played before the ban, but they said they thought the FA were jealous because they were getting bigger crowds,” Newsham said.

“I don’t know the crowd for the men’s game, but even so, whatever it was, they were coming out the following day in those numbers to watch a women’s football match. I think that may be the start of it.

“It’s just my view, based on what the women who were there told me.

“It would have sent shockwaves across the country.”

Playing on

Contemporary newspaper reports showed the FA’s decision was met by backlash from male sports stars, but their pleas to let the women continue to play fell on deaf ears.

Dick, Kerr Ladies soldiered on despite the ban — helped by the company owning a modest ground that the ladies were given permission to use, as well as playing in rugby grounds or even inside greyhound tracks.

“A lot of them said they would carry on playing as long as the charities needed them and as long as the public wanted to come and watch them, which they did,” Newsham said.

With home fields all but barred to the Dick, Kerr Ladies, the team toured the United States in 1922.

The team was renamed as Preston Ladies in 1926 and continued to provide a home team for talented players right the way through until the team folded in 1965.

“Lizzy Ackers, who played for St Helens before the ban, told me that she felt a bit inferior to the players when she joined,” Newsham said.

“She said, ‘We were famous and everyone wanted to see us’. I can still see the glint in her eye when she told me that.”

The legacy

A century before the all-conquering US Women’s National Team, Dick, Kerr Ladies could lay claim to being the best women’s team of all time.

A bronze statue of a woman wearing a striped shirt and cap
The National Football Museum unveiled a statue of Lily Parr in 2019.(Supplied: National Football Museum)

Its players were stars, be it centre-back and captain Alice Kell, through to goalscoring duo Florrie Redford and Jennie Harris.

Then there’s Lily Parr, the first woman to be inducted into the National Football Museum’s hall of fame in 2002.

She even had a statue commissioned of her — another first for the UK — and in 2021 will have an entire exhibit dedicated to her.

Rachel Maidment from the Association of Independent Museums, which helped fund the exhibit, described Parr as “an inspiration to generations both on and off the field”.

However, the truth is that with the ban in place, women like Parr were hidden away, unable to become the role models they could have, and perhaps should have been.

“Imagine saying to Sam Kerr, or Steph Houghton, or Megan Rapinoe, ‘That’s it, you’re not playing any more. You’re done’,” Newsham said.

“Imagine saying that to them. Because that’s what happened to those women. Is that fair?”

Megan Rapinoe stands with her arms outstretched in front of a crowd of spectators
Megan Rapinoe is one of the world’s most recognisable female players.(AP: Francisco Seco)

A double-edged sword

Newsham said it was about time the trailblazers of women’s football were now being recognised, not just Dick, Kerr Ladies.

With women’s football now soaring in popularity across the world, Newsham admitted to being envious of the current crop of players, who are being embraced and made into the stars they deserve to be.

“It’s a double-edged sword really,” Newsham said.

“I’m thrilled because nobody can tell me women’s football isn’t entertaining.

“I’ve been a flag-waver for women’s football all my life … and I remember how it was for us.

“We had nowhere to go. We had no role models. If I were playing as a kid, I would be Bobby Charlton.

Elilse Kellond-Knight takes a selfie with fans
Fans now have players to look up to in the women’s game.(Instagram: Elise Kellond-Knight)

Newsham has dedicated herself to ensuring people know about the women that the officials forgot.

It’s her research, through her book and website, that resulted in Lily Parr being recognised as a genuine footballing pioneer, alongside her teammates.

She said people needed to be reminded of the history to appreciate the present.

“Generations of people in this country have been brought up believing that football is not a game for women,” Newsham said.

“It’s been perpetuated throughout the generations and that’s how we’ve been brought up, and a lot of people still perceive it to be like that today.

“Only when you realise how great we once were, can you understand how great we can be again.”



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Sam Kerr scores for Chelsea in Women’s Super League to make it four goals in a week



Australia captain Sam Kerr continued her big week for Chelsea, following up her first Women’s Super League hat-trick last weekend with the winner in the Blues’ 1-0 victory at Brighton.

Meanwhile, her fellow Matilda Emily van Egmond was in sharp form for West Ham, scoring one and making another goal in their 4-0 victory at Bristol City.

In midweek, the Guardian newspaper, in its annual definitive list of the world’s top 100 women footballers chosen by leading figures within the sport, relegated Kerr from her top position in 2019 to seventh after some struggles in the English top-flight.

So it was ironic that the list should emerge in the week when the 27-year-old has been reminding everyone again of her rare quality.

Kerr had missed the midweek Champions League fixture in Benfica after receiving an accidental knock when she celebrated her hat-trick of goals against West Ham.

But at Brighton’s Crawley home, she was back where she left off in Kingsmeadow, heading home Pernille Harder’s 21st minute cross to ensure the champions extended their unbeaten league run to 29 matches.

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Harder is the brilliant Dane who has taken Kerr’s place at the top of that world’s top 100 list.

Brighton came close to equalising when Inessa Kaagman hit the bar but for Kerr, who took her tally of WSL goals for the season to seven, the only disappointment was that she didn’t convert another couple of late chances that fell her way.

Chelsea are now three points behind Manchester United, who maintained their place at the top with a 2-1 win at Reading.

Caroline Weir scored a last-gasp winner for Manchester City at home to Arsenal that puts them just a point behind the third-placed Gunners, for whom another Matilda Caitlin Foord failed to find the target.

Even while West Ham have been struggling in the league, midfielder van Egmond’s form has rarely dipped in quality and she had another fine afternoon at Bristol City.

First, she volleyed in Rachel Daly’s cross after the break to put the Hammers two up before returning the compliment, setting up Daly to score with a header.

Van Egmond’s third league goal of the season helped the Hammers jump ahead of Aston Villa into 10th place.

AAP



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Kerr a matchwinner again as Matildas shine


Australia captain Sam Kerr continued her big week for Chelsea, following up her first Women’s Super League hat-trick last weekend with the winner in the Blues’ 1-0 victory at Brighton.

Meanwhile, her fellow Matilda Emily van Egmond was in sharp form for West Ham, scoring one and making another goal in their 4-0 victory at Bristol City.

In midweek, the Guardian newspaper, in its annual definitive list of the world’s top 100 women footballers chosen by leading figures within the sport, relegated Kerr from her top position in 2019 to seventh after some struggles in the English top-flight.

So it was ironic that the list should emerge in the week when the 27-year-old has been reminding everyone again of her rare quality.

Kerr had missed the midweek Champions League fixture in Benfica after receiving an accidental knock when she celebrated her hat-trick of goals against West Ham.

But at Brighton’s Crawley home, she was back where she left off in Kingsmeadow, heading home Pernille Harder’s 21st minute cross to ensure the champions extended their unbeaten league run to 29 matches.

Harder is the brilliant Dane who has taken Kerr’s place at the top of that world’s top 100 list.

Brighton came close to equalising when Inessa Kaagman hit the bar but for Kerr, who took her tally of WSL goals for the season to seven, the only disappointment was that she didn’t convert another couple of late chances that fell her way.

Chelsea are now three points behind Manchester United, who maintained their place at the top with a 2-1 win at Reading.

Caroline Weir scored a last-gasp winner for Manchester City at home to Arsenal that puts them just a point behind the third-placed Gunners, for whom another Matilda Caitlin Foord failed to find the target.

Even while West Ham have been struggling in the league, midfielder van Egmond’s form has rarely dipped in quality and she had another fine afternoon at Bristol City.

First, she volleyed in Rachel Daly’s cross after the break to put the Hammers two up before returning the compliment, setting up Daly to score with a header.

Van Egmond’s third league goal of the season helped the Hammers jump ahead of Aston Villa into 10th place.



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Kerr toughs it out at US Women’s Open



FILE PHOTO: Aug 22, 2019; Aurora, Ontario, CAN; Cristie Kerr tees off on the tenth hole in the first round of the CP Womens Open golf tournament at Magna Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

December 11, 2020

(Reuters) – Cristie Kerr had all but given up hope of playing in the U.S. Women’s Open this week after a golf cart accident left her with dislocated ribs and in excruciating pain, but the two-time major winner somehow made it to the first tee in Texas on Thursday.

Her pain-management regime included bouts of cryotherapy, two hours of icing in the morning and evening, and while the searing pain has subsided she is still suffering. The 43-year-old said she had to take pain medication during her even-par 71 first-round performance.

Kerr trails leader Amy Olson by four shots, but even being able to swing a club is a minor miracle.

“If you would’ve told me on Monday that I would be playing today I would have said you were crazy,” said Kerr.

“On a scale of one to 10 (the current pain level is) a six, which on Monday was like a 10 on a pain scale. A six I can deal with as long as I can keep my mobility.”

Kerr dropped a shot on her opening hole and another on the 11th but birdied the third and 10th to stay within striking distance at a tournament where she earned her maiden major title in 2007.

“I remember landing on my chest and it was awful,” said Kerr. “But I’m here and I played and I was tough today and I feel like I’m going to keep getting better every day.”

Kerr confirmed that her caddie, who was in the golf cart with her at the time of the accident and suffered whiplash and a bump on his head, was also making a recovery.

“This is my favourite tournament. It’s our national championship,” said Kerr. “I just, I mean, I’ve been up at 4:00 in the morning icing. If there is any way possible, I’m not going to miss this tournament.”

(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Peter Rutherford)





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Royal accolades piled on Sir John Kerr after the dismissal


Six weeks after his dismissal of the Whitlam Government, Kerr flew to England and visited the Queen.

He and Lady Kerr spent a weekend as guests of the Queen at her private country estate at Sandringham, and met with senior Conservative minister Lord Carrington and key members of what Charteris called “the Establishment”.

Charteris was closely involved in Kerr’s itinerary during this six-week official visit, organising his engagements with the Queen, his lunch with Carrington and Lord Blake, and his meetings with “the Establishment”.

It was all a resounding success. Charteris told Kerr that his visit had ensured that this important elite now understood his reasons for his dismissal of the Government: “your visit to London was very valuable because the Establishment here now has a much clearer idea of what happened in your constitutional crisis … most people think that what you did was right”.

Dining in London shortly before the New Year, Charteris and Kerr looked back on those tumultuous events. “Your discrimination is not limited to Constitutional issues”, Charteris observed of Kerr’s new wife, Lady Anne Kerr, in a handwritten note on Buckingham Palace letter-paper. “I bet Eugene Forsey would have liked to be a fly on the wall!”, he added.

Soon after their return to Sydney, Lady Kerr was appointed a Commander Sister of the Order of St John, a royal order of chivalry granted at the “absolute discretion” of the Queen. The announcement was made by the Prior of the Order of St John in Australia, the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr. On the copy of the official announcement in the archives, a handwritten note reads, “Was this deliberate to counter reports that GG’s action had shocked the Royals?”

Lady Kerr’s royal honour was followed by a visit from the Queen’s second cousin and Prince Philip’s beloved uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who had “much admired” Kerr’s “controversial action” in dismissing Whitlam. Mountbatten had written to Kerr immediately after the dismissal to let him know of his great admiration for him and for his “courageous and constitutionally correct” action.

In February 1976, Mountbatten stayed with Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser at Kirribilli House, visiting Kerr at Admiralty House to convey his respects and admiration in person. Kerr had no doubt that Mountbatten’s views “on the matters relating to our crisis” were shared by the Palace, telling Sir Garfield Barwick that this had been made clear to him in the Queen’s letters after the dismissal.

Charteris’s own view was clear. He could see no option but dismissal, telling Kerr that “no other course was open to you” and that he had “found no one who has been able to tell me what you ought to have done instead”. Following the Prime Minister’s formal advice to the governor-general to call the half-Senate election was, to Charteris, not a course that was open to Kerr.

The Whitlam dismissal: Four decades on

On the occasion of Kerr’s award of the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in April 1976, Charteris wrote to congratulate him: “Many Governors-General get this award before they have had a chance to earn it in that office: no one can say that about you!”

There was no pretence at neutrality in Charteris’s comments on Whitlam’s public statements about the dismissal, in particular on Whitlam’s insistence that since supply had been passed and he had the confidence of the House, he ought to have been recommissioned as prime minister. And yet this was a firm view among those concerned by Kerr’s refusal to see the Speaker and to acknowledge the motion of the House; it was shared by legal academics Leslie Katz and Professor Colin Howard, and was hardly an outlier position.

‘Mr Whitlam could perfectly well have continued to govern and Mr Fraser should certainly have resigned’, Professor Howard wrote in a letter to The Times. Nevertheless, Charteris described his “aggravation and amazement” upon reading Whitlam’s remarks which, he told Kerr, were “to put it mildly, ‘a bit over the odds’!”

Kerr’s priority was always to protect the Queen and the monarchy. The notion of the governor-general as the Queen’s “personal representative” was, to Kerr, a literal one. In a handwritten letter to Charteris shortly before his weekend with the Queen, Kerr outlined his particular understanding of his role in relation to November 1975: “Many of the … decisions I had to make were specifically made in order to protect the Crown and the Monarchy in the future”. 

Jim Cairns: Labor Left legend, Whitlam Minister and philosopher

He had not warned Whitlam, Kerr told Charteris, because he feared Whitlam might then have recalled him, and he could not “risk the outcome for the sake of the Monarchy”. With that decision made, they would all have to deal with the increasingly fractious consequences.

Although Charteris had reassured Kerr just days before the dismissal that whatever decision he made could only do the monarchy good, this had been unduly hopeful. Demonstrations and angry protests followed Kerr at every public engagement and intense debate over the dismissal continued. Kerr told Charteris, more in hope than in fact, that the demonstrators were merely “a rent a crowd” and that the furore would soon abate. It did not.

As the protests continued into 1976, the ever-needy Kerr sought royal reassurance with a feigned suggestion of resigning, not for the first time. Charteris and insistent: resignation would be seen as “an admission of error”, and in the interests of the monarchy, he should not go.

Professor Jenny Hocking is Emeritus Professor at Monash University, Distinguished Whitlam Fellow at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University and award-winning biographer of Gough Whitlam.  You can follow Professor Jenny Hocking on Twitter @palaceletters

This is an edited extract from The Palace Letters: The Queen, the governor-general, and the plot to dismiss Gough Whitlam by Jenny Hocking (Scribe, $32.99), out now.

Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.

 





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Sam Kerr on target as Chelsea ease home against Manchester City


England international Fran Kirby scored one goal and scored another as champions Chelsea eased to a 3-1 home win over title rivals Manchester City in the Women’s Super League on Sunday.

Norway’s Maren Mjelde put the home side ahead with a penalty in the 36th minute, with Kirby setting up striker Sam Kerr with an excellent first-time ball for the second in the 57th minute.

Chelsea’s Sam Kerr holds off City’s Lucy Bronze at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.Credit:Getty Images

Chloe Kelly pulled one back for City from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute, but six minutes later Kirby latched on to a long ball for a breakaway goal that made it 3-1.

The win leaves Chelsea third in the standings with 10 points from four games, while City are fifth on seven points after a disappointing start.



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On-target Kerr praised after Chelsea win


Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been singled out for praise from her Chelsea coach Emma Hayes after she was on target for the Women’s Super League champions in their 3-1 home win over title rivals Manchester City.

Her Australia team mate Caitlin Foord was also in good form as she laid on one of the goals that ensured Arsenal were left at the top of the table after four straight wins with their 5-0 thrashing of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Coach Hayes was thrilled by 27-year-old Kerr’s superb contribution in the match between arguably the two favourites to win the league, as the Australian skipper really began to fulfill expectations.

“I’m so happy for Sam Kerr today, I’m so happy the ball’s gone in,” said Hayes after watching her combine brilliantly with England international Fran Kirby all game.

“The service Fran gave her was tremendous. Sam works her socks off. There’s a huge expectation and you could see the way the team reacted (to her goal) – they were over the moon for her.”

Norway’s Maren Mjelde had put Chelsea ahead with a penalty in the 36th minute, before a perfectly-weighted cross from Kirby after the break found Kerr in the middle., leaving the Australian to tap in her third league goal of the season.

Chloe Kelly pulled one back for City from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute but six minutes later Kirby latched on to a long ball for a breakaway goal that made it 3-1.

The win leaves Chelsea third in the standings with 10 points from four games, while Arsenal’s stroll at Brighton left them with a maximum 12 points, leading the way with also unbeaten Everton, who beat West Ham 3-1.

Vivianne Miedema (two), Danielle Van De Donk, Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Moy scored in the Arsenal rout, with Foord setting up Dutch international Van De Donk’s goal that put Arsenal two up before the break.



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Sam Kerr on equal footing with Cristiano Ronaldo in new FIFA game


“She’s been unbelievable – she’s been our best player for both and country – her rise over the past 12 to 18 months has been incredible,” she said.

“Her move to Chelsea vindicates that and proves how good she’s been. She’s broken records, she’s made history, and she was at one point the most expensive player to move to England in the women’s game.”

On top: USA star Megan Rapinoe.Credit:AP

She also questioned Rapinoe’s prolonged reign at the top, and perhaps with good reason. The American hasn’t played a club game since last October, her only action being three games for the USA national team in March.

“She had a great World Cup – but she hasn’t played club football for a really long time, so it’s a little bizarre why she’s still number one,” Lewis said.

“Club football is the new frontier of the women’s game – so you need to be prioritising that when you think about these sorts of things”.

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This marks the fifth year of women being playable in the FIFA series, first debuting in FIFA 16 with Matildas defender Steph Catley alongside Tim Cahill and Lionel Messi on the cover.

In this year’s game, Messi remains the top men’s player with a 93 rating, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo on 92, and the quartet of Neymar, Robert Lewandowski, Kevin de Bruyne and Jan Oblak on 91.

The full list of ratings for players will be available shortly, ahead of the game’s October release date. But which of Kerr’s teammates is the second-highest Australia remains to be seen.

“Ellie Carpenter absolutely should be higher, and Steph Catley has been underrated by both club and for the Matildas for a really long time,” Lewis said.

“I think Caitlin Foord will have a really good time with Arsenal as well.”

FIFA 21 is out on October 9th.

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Matildas skipper Sam Kerr on target for Chelsea in English Women’s Super League


Matildas skipper Sam Kerr has bounced back from a disappointing FA Community Shield performance to score for Chelsea in the opening round of the English Women’s Super League season.

The star striker scored in the 25th minute of Chelsea’s 1-1 weekend draw with Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village Stadium.

Kerr was replaced in the 66th minute, with United equalising 13 minutes later to grab a share of the points.

https://twitter.com/BarclaysFAWSL/status/1302609253866274816

“I’m pleased that Sam has got off to a scoring start in the league and I think for her now she has to build on that,” Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said.

Kerr had been criticised a week earlier for missing a host of chances in Chelsea’s 2-0 Community Shield win over Manchester City.

She had earlier told the Chelsea website: “ It’s good to have a full pre-season with the team. I feel like I’ve settled in these last five weeks more than I did last season with everything that was going around us. I feel really good being back with the team.”

Meanwhile, Kerr’s Matildas’ teammates Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord featured for Arsenal in their 6-1 thrashing of Reading.

Arsenal’s Australian coach Joe Montemurro said: “We can do even better than this, we have to keep our standards very high.”





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