'Now was the perfect time' - Matildas ready to take over Women's Super League

Sam Kerr celebrates a goal with her Chelsea teammates Source: Getty Images

A new generation of Australian footballers are taking over England.

Fifteen years after the Socceroos were front and centre in the Premier League, Sam Kerr will lead a plethora of Matildas in the opening round of the FA Women's Super League.

As many as eight Matildas could feature across four games this weekend while compatriots Joe Montemurro (Arsenal) and Tanya Oxtoby (Bristol City) are among the coaching ranks.

"We've just been watching from afar and waiting for the league to be at a place where we would want to leave America and leave our comfort zone and come over to England," Matildas and Bristol City midfielder Chloe Logarzo said.

"Now was the perfect time... this is where we need to go and what we need to do to improve our football."

Just two of 23 Matildas in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup squad were based predominantly in Europe.

Now, all 20 members of this year's Olympic qualifying squad are signed to European clubs, with nine in the FAWSL.

Where once young Australians were watching Mark Viduka, Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell at all hours, now the likes of Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Logarzo will be taking centre stage in a league also now home to Danish gun Pernille Harder and American stars Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

"It's obviously not only the Australians but you see other clubs making big signings as well," Arsenal's Foord said

"You see all the internationals wanting to come play here and that's exciting for the league."

While Logarzo's Bristol are out to avoid a relegation scrap, some of her teammates are chasing silverware.

All eyes will be on Kerr, lining up for reigning champions Chelsea against Manchester United.

Meanwhile Foord and full-back Steph Catley could make their league debuts with fellow title contender Arsenal, though goalkeeper Lydia Williams (ankle) is sidelined.

"After last year, not qualifying for the Champions League and then getting knocked out (in the WCL quarter-finals), the vibe's definitely 'oh well, we have to just win this thing now'," Foord said.

"To have a team pushing to do that and to have the players to be able to do that as well, I think that's the best thing.

"You don't need to build the belief - it's already there."

Above all, the hope is that the Matildas' different experiences translate into national team success.

"It's incredible to see how far women's football has come, in literally leaps and bounds, and this is definitely a move that should have happened a few years ago," Logarzo said.

"But it's happened now and hopefully this sets us up for a successful World Cup on home soil and all of us stay here in England and we're all playing the best football that we can play.

"(This) was the best decision that we could have made and hopefully playing year-round football consistently will help us develop - and hopefully it's not too late."

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FAWSL - OPENING ROUND 

Arsenal v Reading, 9.30pm Sunday

Australians: Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord (Arsenal)

Bristol City v Everton, 11pm Sunday

Australians: Chloe Logarzo, Ella Mastrantonio (Bristol), Hayley Raso (Everton)

Tottenham v West Ham, 11pm Sunday

Australians: Alanna Kennedy (Tottenham), Emily van Egmond, Mackenzie Arnold, Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (West Ham)

Manchester United v Chelsea, 11.30pm Sunday

Australians: Sam Kerr (Chelsea)

*All times in AEST

Source AAP