• The record-breaking Matildas. (Getty) (Getty Images)
It's a gross injustice that none of our Matildas were nominated for a 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup award, but nothing will diminish the legacy our girls left on Australia's football during their history-making run to the quarter-finals.
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3 Jul 2015 - 3:27 PM  UPDATED 3 Jul 2015 - 3:27 PM

From the moment the Matildas embarked on their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup journey in Canada, I have always believed that this was the best women's national team Australia has produced.

Since their first appearance at the 1995 World Cup in Sweden, the Matildas have made leaps and bounds both on and off the park and the proof was in the pudding when they made history last month by becoming the first senior Australian side to make it out a knockout stage.

Put to one side, for a moment, the immense belief, guts, grit and determination that they played with, their performances right up until they were knocked out by Japan in the quarter-finals spoke for themselves.

Playing a high-tempo, attacking, possession-based game elevated their notoriety on the world stage and cemented their status as one of the most competitive teams to come up against and a delight to watch.

That's why it was surprising to see that their commendable individual and team efforts were not recognised and were ineffectually deemed unworthy by FIFA after it released its shortlisted nominees for the 2015 Women's World Cup awards.

With not a single Matildas player in sight, the snub had me wondering just why the likes of Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyah Simon, Lisa De Vanna, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond or Caitlin Foord weren't nominated.

My shortlist is just a mere sample of the quality individuals that viewers were exposed to when they avidly tuned in to watch the Australians take to the field during their campaign.

I am not the only one who was impressed and it behoves me to say that a variety of both domestic and foreign football identities were smitten with the Matildas. It's straight up fact.

"Australia were awesome, and they made this World Cup more fun," wrote Kevin McCauley for SB Nation

For me, one of the most obvious omissions from FIFA's list is Kellond-Knight.

SBS's very own Craig Foster sang her praises right throughout the tournament and hailed her as the perfect replacement for Collette McCallum who left an enormous hole in the Matildas midfield when she retired.

Those were always going to be some difficult boots to fill but Kellond-Knight achieved it with aplomb and her brilliance thankfully hasn't gone unnoticed to those who matter.

I wasn't at all shocked to see that a number of players, including Kellond-Knight have been snapped up by overseas clubs.

It didn't take long for women's Bundesliga club FFC Turbine Potsdam to sign the Brisbane Roar star on a two-year deal - a move that will contribute enormously to her advancement to the next level.

Claiming back-to-back player of the match awards in the games against Sweden and Brazil, the 24 year-old was without question, the heart and soul of Australia's midfield.

Tasked with the responsibility of guiding the Matildas forward in attack and expertly dropping back in defence, Kellond-Knight's presence was felt in all five matches.

The match against Brazil in particular, saw her nullify the likes of five-time FIFA World Player of the year, Marta – a challenge not easily achieved by anyone.

Her distribution, ability to read the game and anticipate her opponents proved to be the difference in the group stages and certainly right up until Australia crashed out of the tournament.

While it's easy to feel aggrieved or disgruntled and question FIFA's decision as I have done, one thing remains – there isn't an award worth winning or losing that accurately encapsulates just what these Matildas achieved.

The trophies may rust but the memories of what they accomplished in Canada and the fact that they inspired Australia to think differently about women's football is a legacy that will last for eternity.