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“We’re going to do it justice”: Seven’s Women’s World Cup hosts countdown to kick-off

Mel McLaughlin, Emma Freedman, and Heather Garriock are ready to cheer the Matildas to their World Cup win.
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There’s one thing that binds presenters Mel McLaughlin, 43, Emma Freedman, 34, and decorated Matildas player Heather Garriock, 40 – their love of soccer.

The trio tell Woman’s Day of their excitement to be part of Seven’s month-long coverage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

L-R: Heather Garriock, Mel McLaughlin, Emma Freedman.

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

With just days to go until the World Cup kicks off, are the nerves setting in?

Mel: The prospect of having the World Cup here has sunk in. I’m excited but nervous – for the Matildas and [to host], because we want to do the best job we can – it doesn’t get any bigger!

Emma, as a roving reporter, what can viewers expect to see?

Emma: We’re going to be focusing on the colour, the energy, and the excitement of the tournament. It’s also about bringing football to a new audience, and they will, if they haven’t already, fall in love with the Matildas.

How will this World Cup compare to other sporting events that you’ve covered?

Mel: It’s the World Cup, it’s women, it’s my sport and it’s in Australia – we’re going to do it justice! To be involved is just the biggest privilege.

Emma:To have the Matildas on home soil is really special. I think it’s an event we’ll remember for a long time. I think that’s dependent partially on results, but also on us showcasing that there’s huge excitement at the ground level of this sport.

The hosts are already practicing their soccer skills!

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

Heather, with your experience playing with the Matildas on a global stage, how will the team be feeling right now?

Heather: The nerves are going to be there but when that first whistle blows, that’s when they’ll know that the work they’ve put in will pay off. If we can get a win in the first game, that’s going to build momentum and belief in the team.

How do you think the Matildas will progress?

Heather: I’m going to be realistic – we really need to win our group games, and it’s an incredibly difficult pool. But I believe fully in the team and coaching staff. This is our biggest moment and our best chance to win a World Cup.

Emma: We just all pray they get to a stage that they’re proud of – we’ll be proud of whatever they achieve.

We can’t wait to see the Matildas lift their next trophy!

(Image: Getty)

What would winning mean to you?

Mel: I grew up loving this sport and never thought about playing for my country – girls and boys will now be able to do that. To win the World Cup…it would mean so much, and so deeply, to so many.

Who do you think will win the tournament?

Mel: Australia.

Emma: United States.

Heather: I feel it would be un-Australian to pick anyone but us, but France.

Who’s going to win the Golden Boot?

All: Sam Kerr!

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