'It's been so long since we've been together' - Matildas eyeing busy 2021

Hayley Raso celebrates a goal with her Matildas teammates Source: Getty Images

After the COVID-19 pandemic scuppered much of the Matildas' 2020 plans, Hayley Raso says she and her teammates are raring to go for a busy 2021.

The Matildas haven't come together as a group since March, with plans for a November camp called off due to Europe's coronavirus situation.

With new coach Tony Gustavsson officially kicking off his tenure on January 1, the Matildas are optimistic of assembling in all three international windows before the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

"There are a number of FIFA windows leading up to Tokyo so I think it would just be great for us Matildas to get back together and start working, considering it's been so long since we've been together due to COVID," Everton winger Raso told reporters on Friday.

"So I guess Tokyo will be a little bit different and things will look a little bit different but for us it's the same - it's just football."

There is also optimism that one of those windows could see a camp and even a game held back in Australia.

"We love playing on home soil, we love having the Australian crowd behind us and I think they always help push us and drive us to do well in those games," Raso said.

"So to think that there's a possibility of us having some matches in Australia before the Olympics would be absolutely amazing."

Raso admitted it had been "really tough" for the Europe-based Matildas to miss out on assembling while their club teammates had been away in recent international breaks.

"Most of my teammates have been away on international duty and I've been training with Everton and our squad's really small - like there's just a couple of girls still in and around training," she said.

"It's tough when you know that girls are playing international games or friendlies or having a training camp and we're not able to assemble as a group.

"So I think now we're really close to 2021 and we know that we'll be getting back together in 2021... we're just looking forward and just can't wait to get back together as a group."

The majority of the Matildas now play in Europe and Raso was confident those experiences would bear fruit.

"We're not only playing regular match minutes but we're also developing ourselves technically and tactically," she said.

"So once we do come back together in our national team environment I think we will see a step up in the level of how everybody's performing."

Source AAP