Matilda Cortnee Vine in action (Image: Matildas)

Sydney FC attacker Cortnee Vine has relished in her past opportunities to represent the Matildas, although she did not expect that she would be selected for the home Women’s World Cup this month.

Her ability to win crucial one-on-one battles and her adaptability to their tactics has previously been praised by national coach Tony Gustavsson, yet the speedster had no faith in being selected for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Till the lead up, I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Vine said.

“You just think [the World Cup] is such a big event and it is. It’s just this pedestal up here and you just never think you’re going to be a part of it.”   

Despite her doubts, the winger was one of seven debutants selected in the Matildas 23-player squad for the tournament on Monday afternoon. Vine was swept with a wave of emotions when she was provided with the news last Thursday. 

“It was a pretty up and down day. Obviously, you have some of your best mates getting cut from the squad,” she said.

“Then when I got told I was selected, it was waterworks, I just bawled my eyes out.”  

Not only did the news give the Victorian a sense of relief, but it also helped her realise a career-long dream. 

“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I knew Matildas was a thing,” she said.  

“So, for it to potentially be ticked off means the world to me.”  

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The inclusion of Vine in the squad will give Australia an exciting quartet up front joining fellow winger Hayley Raso, as well as Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord up front. Vine says that when they are all on their game, no one can stop them.

“We are strong together and work really well together,” she said.

“When we are on and switched on together, I think we are pretty unstoppable.”

That front four will also be bolstered by the inclusion of striker Kyah Simon in the 23-player squad. Simon is available to face France at Marvel Stadium next Friday night, nine months after tearing her ACL.

Vine says that each selected squad member has the ability to have the same influence as a starter when they are injected into the game. 

“I think the squad that has been selected is fantastic,” she said. 

“The people [Tony Gustavsson] picked is one for one. You can sub one out and one will fill in straightaway and I don’t think there’s anyone in our squad that brings it down.” 

The Matildas begin their World Cup campaign at Stadium Australia on 20 July when they take on Ireland. 

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