Matildas teammates excited by Kerr move

Sam Kerr's teammates expect her move to Europe to help grow the profile of Australian soccer.
Sam Kerr's teammates expect her move to Europe to help grow the profile of Australian soccer.

Matildas teammates Katrina Gorry and Hayley Raso believe Sam Kerr's big-money move to English club Chelsea is another giant step for Australian women's football.

Kerr has joined the Women's Super League outfit on a two-and-a-half-year deal, taking her talents to the rapidly growing English league.

The 26-year-old's headline-grabbing move caps a big few weeks for the Matildas after a new collective bargaining agreement put them on the same pay scale as the Socceroos and bumper crowds for their two frendlies against Chile.

"The movement in female football is pretty exciting and definitely, in Australia, to go with that the bidding for the 2023 World Cup, it's going to be an exciting couple of years," midfielder Gorry told AAP.

"The more people that we can get on board and the more people that we can get knowing about us and what we're doing in our life, I think it's going to be huge for us."

Raso witnessed first-hand the growing stature of the women's game in Europe at this year's World Cup in France and says Kerr's move could pave the way for other Matildas.

"It's incredible for her. A big move, really big move," Raso said.

"It's also big for Australia getting people over to Europe to expand the game.

"When we went to the World Cup, Europe was up there as really strong performers so it might be the start of something, we'll see."

Kerr's move has taken away a massive drawcard from the W-League, which kicks off on Thursday with Western Sydney hosting Adelaide.

FFA chairman Chris Nikou was choosing to look at Kerr's move as an endorsement of the W-League's strengths however.

"(The) W-League will continue to offer young Australian players an opportunity to compete in one of the world's finest women's football competitions," Nikou said.

"The next generation of Westfield Matildas are set to emerge this season and test themselves against some of the world's best players. There are exciting times ahead."

Kerr is ineligible to play until the European transfer window opens in January with a clash against Reading five days into the new year her likely debut for the Blues.

Australian Associated Press