A humble Emily van Egmond thanked the region for its support after playing a major role in the Matildas’ inspiring run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The national football side captured the hearts of millions across Australia over the past month… and it was no different for the talented Novocastrian in the Hunter.
“Live” sites were set-up at Wheeler Place in the CBD, as well as Lake Macquarie and Maitland, while thousands flocked to various venues to cheer on the Aussie girls.
And, van Egmond’s huge effort was recognised on Tuesday 22 August when Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes presented her with a Key to the City at Nobbys Beach.
“Newcastle is a special place for me… and I am honoured to receive this,” she said.
“Novocastrians have shown their passion for football.
“So, I’m thrilled so see the next generation of girls sharing my love of the game.”
The midfielder, and former Newcastle Jet, starred for the Matildas during their history-making campaign, which saw them achieve the highest ever finish of any Australian team in a World Cup tournament.
Playing her fourth World Cup, and first at home, van Egmond came on for the squad in the 73rd minute of their opener against the Republic of Ireland before making her mark on the competition with a superb goal in their narrow 3-2 loss to Nigeria.
She secured significant game time for the remainder of the event, through the middle, as the Matildas went on to finish fourth overall, smashing television ratings and crowd records along the way.
City of Newcastle has a long and proud association with van Egmond, helping to secure the first paid transfer of a player into the Australian W-League in 2017, when the Dudley junior transferred from VfL Wolfsburg to the Jets.
Cr Nelmes said the local, along with fellow Newcastle player and Matildas squad member Claire Wheeler, would be role models for generations of footballers as a result of the team’s game-changing journey.
“Their performance during the FIFA Women’s World Cup has been nothing short of spectacular, capturing the imagination of the Australian public and igniting a women’s sport movement that will be felt for years to come,” she stated.
“Whether barracking from the stands, watching on from our Wheeler Place ‘live’ sites or tuning in from lounge rooms across the city, Novocastrians were there every step of the way.
“We’re proud to be able to present this Key to the City to Emily for her stellar efforts on and off the pitch, showing women and girls everywhere that anything is possible.”
Late last year, CN acknowledged the Newcastle Knights’ NRLW 24-woman 2022 premiership-winning squad, which defeated Parramatta in the decider.
For more community stories:
- Bike repair station to get Newcastle back in the saddle
- Fun-filled Knockers and Moles returns to fundraising calendar
- Million-dollar investment to support innovative local business projects
Get all the latest Newcastle news, sport, real estate, entertainment, lifestyle and more delivered straight to your inbox with the Newcastle Weekly Daily Newsletter. Sign up here.