Kerr con­tin­ues to ig­nite team

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - STEVE LARKIN AND DAVID SMITH

MATIL­DAS cap­tain Sam Kerr’s abil­ity to thrive un­der im­mense ex­pec­ta­tion is be­ing lauded by her na­tional team coach.

Kerr is on the cusp of an­nounc­ing a move to Europe, with Chelsea and six-time Cham­pi­ons League win­ners Lyon the fron­trun­ners to snare her ser­vices.

Aus­tralia coach Ante Mili­cic says Kerr’s ca­pac­ity to per­form for the Matil­das amid the trans­fer scru­tiny is praise­wor­thy.

“She’s an ul­ti­mate pro­fes­sional,” Mili­cic said yes­ter­day. “It has been a big week for Sam, not only as an in­di­vid­ual and the cap­tain of her coun­try, but also the whole team.

“There has been a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions around the team ... and the team un­der­stand that we need to de­liver on the field.”

Kerr scored a brace in the Matil­das’ 2-1 de­feat of Chile in Syd­ney on Satur­day be­fore a record crowd for a women’s foot­ball in­ter­na­tional in Aus­tralia of 20,029.

Kerr will take cen­tre stage in Ade­laide today when Aus­tralia hosts Chile in a sec­ond friendly — the first time the Matil­das have played in the South Aus­tralian cap­i­tal in 13 years.

“I’m sure Sam and the rest of the girls are look­ing to fin­ish Tues­day night’s game in the best pos­si­ble way,” Mili­cic said.

“It’s the first time as Matil­das that these girls are play­ing in Ade­laide and that re­ally be­comes an ex­pec­ta­tion ... they need to put on a per­for­mance where the peo­ple re­mem­ber this.

“And that is our re­spon­si­bil­ity ev­ery time we travel around this great coun­try of ours.”

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