Kerr cast as Captain Fantastic for Cup

Star forward Sam Kerr is used to scoring goals but she's still growing into the role of Australia's captain at the Women's World Cup.

samantha kerr of australia controls the ball during a match at pepper stadium in sydney australia
SAMANTHA KERR of Australia controls the ball during a match at Pepper Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

Sam Kerr didn't completely take in what it meant to captain Australia when she was first handed the armband.

Now, as she prepares to lead the Matildas in the World Cup in France, she's come to grips with the honour and is ready.

Kerr will lead Australia out at the Valenciennes' Stade du Hainaut on Sunday, widely seen as the best opportunity the Matildas' have had to leave a mark on the world stage.

The Western Australian will be pivotal to Australia's hopes.

Kerr is a world class goalscorer; the winner of the two latest golden boots in both the US and Australian domestic leagues.

She was appointed captain by coach Ante Milicic back in February as one of the incoming boss's first decisions.

Milicic already had the notion that Kerr, the team's brightest star, was ready for the role.

His thoughts were confirmed as soon as he started his first team meeting.

"Sam sat in the front row. First meeting. Front row. Eyes on me," he said when announcing his decision.

"She's a fantastic choice. She's confident. She has that belief and she really carries the team. She's a leader, she's fearless and she's very important to the team.

"She's ready at this moment to take this opportunity."

Kerr first captained Australia in the Cup of Nations win over New Zealand in Sydney three months ago.

"I didn't really think about it (then but) when I was finally about to walk out, I was in the tunnel, and this nervousness came upon me. It was a really proud moment," she said.

"It's going to be a special moment for me leading the girls out.

"The most important thing for me is that I feel the support of the girls. To be at my third World Cup is going to be amazing. I'm just focusing on the game, not the tunnel."


AAP