If you are a soccer fan you can catch an early dose of World Cup fever this week by watching the England women’s team prepare for their first game of the tournament.
The Lionesses will arrive on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow to kick off their pre-World Cup training camp.
The team is holding an open training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium at Kawana on Sunday, from 1pm to 2.30pm, and fans will have the chance to see some of the best players in the world and get autographs and photos.
England Head Coach, Sarina Wiegman, said the Sunshine Coast was the ideal location for the Lionesses to put the finishing touches on their World Cup preparations.
“We can’t wait to get out to Australia,” Wiegman said.
The team will be based at Twin Waters resort.
“It is great we know where we will continue our World Cup preparations and we are very happy to have this perfect combination of training ground and hotel.
“The work we do in the last weeks before the tournament will be essential for making sure we get off to a good start on 22 July,” she said.
England start their tournament against Haiti at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
“I was very impressed with what I saw when I visited Sunshine Coast Stadium just after the New Year.
“We will have everything we need on the pitch, as well as high performance gym and recovery facilities.
“We had such a warm welcome from all the people there which is also important. I know everyone will be behind the host nation, but we felt Sunshine Coast will feel like a home away from home for us,” Ms Wiegman said.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson, said hosting the England team reinforced the region’s reputation as a world class destination for major sporting events and training camps.
“We’re very excited to host the England women’s team at Sunshine Coast Stadium as it prepares for the World Cup, particularly ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games where this same venue will co-host the Olympic Games football competition,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Having the Lionesses here is another terrific chance to showcase our world class sporting facilities, friendly hospitality and ideal climate.
“It’s also a great opportunity for our community to come and see some of the very best footballers in the world train right here at our Sunshine Coast Stadium.”
Following their opening World Cup match, England will head to Terrigal, an hour north of Sydney, and set up camp for the rest of the tournament.
England is ranked 4th behind top team the USA, while Australia is in 10th place in the world standings.
The Matildas ended England’s 30-game unbeaten streak in April with a 2-nil win in London.