Sport: Watch out, Jamaica: Gielnik has a big win in her sights - PressFrom - Australia
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SportWatch out, Jamaica: Gielnik has a big win in her sights

06:40  17 june  2019
06:40  17 june  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Watch out, Jamaica: Gielnik has a big win in her sights© AP Australia's Emily Gielnik tussles with Brazilian legend Marta.

Melbourne Victory winger Emily Gielnik is on a high as she wanders around the Matildas' hotel foyer waiting to take her turn at talking to the media.

And why wouldn't she be?

She made here World Cup debut in one of the most memorable matches in Matildas history, the epic win over Brazil, and staked a claim to be a starter for their next match against Jamaica.

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Tall and powerful, Gielnik is relishing the positive atmosphere in the Matildas camp following that ''back from the dead'' performance against Brazil.

When told that if the Matildas can beat the Jamaicans by a big margin they could top the group if Italy lose to Brazil in the other match, she grins.

"Well there you go, we’ll just win 5-0, won’t we? Make it six, you know! Yeah, that’s it! At the end of the day, win against Jamaica and score 10, we’ll be fine.''

Then she resets, and becomes serious.

"That’s it [just win] – [that's] too much thinking," she says.

Still, her ebullience cannot be fully suppressed.

"We are still riding this wave and we honestly just can’t wait for game day, it couldn’t come quick enough," Gielnik said.

"Not just to win but to play our best football and score as many goals as possible without over-thinking the end outcome.

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"We feel like we definitely didn’t play our best football in the first game, and it definitely wasn’t our best in the second game but it was better. So we have got momentum and we’re getting better and better.

"We were proving ourselves to Australia, to our fans, to everyone. It was that euphoric moment we felt and knew we could win. But we’re not on a high that’s so high we’re coming down."

Her joking about the scoreline aside, Gielnik is very much on message when it comes to discussing Australia's next opponents, Jamaica.

"Every team at the World Cup can offer a threat. The hardest thing about being in such a prestigious tournament like this is the unpredictability, and right now they have nothing to lose so that makes us vulnerable in a way," she said.

"We actually played better against better teams so we have to go out there not taking them any less of an opponent than anybody else.

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Westfield Matildas winger Emily Gielnik has praised her national teammate Sam Kerr for her influence on the women’s game in Australia, calling the 25-year old ‘iconic’. Gielnik enjoyed a strong campaign in her first season in Melbourne, scoring four goals as Victory swept all before them to win their first

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"We won’t put them on a pedestal but we also won’t under-rate them. It’s the World Cup and stranger things have happened.

"It’s so unpredictable. The World Cup even more so. Italy for instance weren’t the most favoured team and they come out and beat us. We didn’t play our best football but it just goes to show that unpredictability of all the teams and most definitely the underrated ones."

Gielnik was pleased to make a World Cup debut, happy at the outcome of the game but not so enthused by her own performance.

"Being my debut it means a lot to me. But from a personal perspective I don’t think it was my best performance," she said.

"Did I do my bit for the team? Yes. Did I do my job? To a certain degree, yes. But I don’t feel as a striker I was as threatening as I would have liked to be.

"I’m probably my biggest critic but ... maybe some more urgency here and there and a bit more of an advanced positioning."

Gielnik is adamant that there is more to come from herself and the team as they look to build on the Brazil result.

"I still don’t think it was our best football, it was ugly at times, and I think some of the goals – we were gonna score the goals regardless but how they happened was probably not how we hoped they would happen. But a goal’s a goal so we don’t really care too much."

Even when reminded that if things went disastrously wrong against Jamaica, Australia could only qualify in third place which would probably mean a match against France in the knockout stage, Gielnek's enthusiasm remains.

"Bring it on – I’d love to play France. Like why not knock off the world’s No.1 in their own country? That’s such a big challenge and if that comes to us I think the last thing we want to be is fearful of that. So if it falls that way, then let’s go."

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