Matilda Chloe Logarzo opens up on World Cup heartbreak as coach reveals how Sam Kerr ‘could lead team astray’

Matilda Chloe Logarzo opens up on World Cup heartbreak as coach reveals how Sam Kerr 'could lead team astray'

Matildas star Chloe Logarzo has opened up about her devastating World Cup shock as she revealed she cried through the team’s warm-up win over France – while Sam Kerr’s mentor revealed her initial concerns about the captain’s leadership.

Desperate for a place in Toni Gustavsson’s World Cup squad due to injury following a serious knee ailment in September 2021, Logarzo was unable to prove his fitness.

Instead, he will appear as a pundit on Optus Sport’s World Cup broadcast – although he admits it could be quite a tearful tournament as he battles the devastating injury of not playing.

Logarzo will be joined on the broadcast by long-time Kerr confidant Tanya Oxtoby, a former A-League star who is an assistant coach at UK WSL club Chelsea in Australia.

Oxtoby, who like Kerr is a West Australian native, played alongside him at Perth Glory when the Matildas captain made his debut as a 15-year-old.

He was later assistant coach at Glory and Australia under-20s for three years while Kerr’s star continued to rise as a young prodigy with the world at his feet.

Sam Kerr (right, pictured with Matildas teammate Caitlin Ford [left] and Mackenzie Arnold [right]) didn’t always seem like he would be an incredible leader, according to his mentor

Kerr (left, pictured with Eli Carpenter [right]) has a wicked sense of humor and is one that always brings energy on and off the field

(L-R) Long-time Kerr mentor Tanya Oxtoby, Matildas star Chloe Logarzo and Aussie greats Heather Garriock and Sarah Walsh will be some of the big names on Optus’ World Cup broadcast.

So if anyone has insight into Kerr’s rise and rise to global stardom, it’s Oxtoby.

Although his natural talent and exceptional skills were evident at an early age, Oxtoby explained that he wasn’t always convinced that the affable and cheeky Kerr would make a good leader.

The Matildas superstar always plays with youthful exuberance with a broad smile on her face as her intense competition always threatens to erupt.

He is now Australia’s heart and soul player, captain and dressing room leader, respected by all and always in the middle of any malicious mischief or off-field activity.

But according to Oxtoby, he initially didn’t believe it would.

Oxtoby, who was an assistant coach at Glory in 2014 (photo by Kerr [right] Quarrels with colleague Matilda Ellis Kellond-Knight [left] that season), said he couldn’t have imagined Kerr growing into the leader he is today

“I think constantly he’s still that young kid just enjoying the game and you can see the way he goes about things,” he said.

‘In training, he’s someone who brings energy. He’s the one that lifts you when you’re kind of going through that grind. For three games a week, four straight weeks, he’s the one that brings the energy. So it hasn’t changed

‘But I think, in terms of his application and his professionalism, he has grown enormously.

‘For me, seeing him being able to guide some of the younger players (at Chelsea) is probably an area that I didn’t anticipate he would be a strength when I first met him.

‘He’s definitely got some patience, but he also leads them astray a bit. So I will try to keep him on the right track.’

Of course for all the joy involved in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in a home World Cup and wake up an entire nation; There’s also heartbreak.

Veteran Ellis Kellond-Knight tore his Achilles in March, giving him no immediate chance to feature. Instead, he will be an expert host of Channel 7’s World Cup coverage.

And then there’s the luckless Logarzo. The 54-cap midfielder has had a rough time since tearing his ACL in a friendly against Ireland in September 2021. Although the operation was initially successful, it led to a long series of complications combined to strip the talented, tough-on. A running midfielder for one place in the squad.

A devastated Chloe Logarzo is comforted by Tony Gustavsson after leaving the field in the semi-final against Sweden at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo

Logarzo has suffered multiple injuries since going down in a friendly against Ireland in September 2021, clutching his knee and suffering excruciating pain. It was later confirmed that he had torn his ACL

The unlucky Logarzo also picked up a serious ankle injury during the Matildas’ win over Vietnam in March 2020.

Despite being devastated not to be on the pitch, Logarzo said he was happy to appear as a pundit for Optus’ coverage of the World Cup.

Gustavsson Dear, in the years and months, while Logarzo’s injured knee was fully healed, his other leg struggled and suffered a range of debilitating injuries, including plantar fasciitis.

Western United’s A-League captain couldn’t get enough regular games as niggles continued to deny him time on the pitch, despite being named in his provisional squad to be fit enough for the World Cup to climb. Gustavson.

Instead, like Kellon-Knight, he will instead provide expert commentary for Optus Sports’ coverage, which will show all 64 World Cup games. It’s a great move for someone who’s so confident in front of the camera, but it’s clear that despite wanting to take chances with both hands, that’s not where he wants to be.

The 28-year-old, who has worked in broadcasting during injury time-outs in the past, said it could be a tough tournament regardless of France’s 1-0 warm-up win over Australia in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 50,000 in Melbourne. .

‘I would say there will probably be some tears (during the World Cup),’ said the usually outspoken Logarzo at the brand-new Optus Sports studio that will be the nerve center of the World Cup broadcast.

‘I was crying a lot against France, but I tell the girls, I don’t have to wish them luck, because I know what they’ve done.

‘I think everyone knows that’s not where I want to be… but I’m excited to play a role, whatever part it is, in this role (on TV). I’m going to take it in my stride.’

Australia’s quest for a fairytale World Cup title begins at home against Ireland at Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday at 8pm.


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