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Players deny links to Matildas letter

Date

David Polkinghorne

Melissa Barbieri says the FFA should choose the best person for the Matildas coaching role, regardless of gender.

Melissa Barbieri says the FFA should choose the best person for the Matildas coaching role, regardless of gender. Photo: Getty Images

Several Matildas used social media to distance themselves from revelations some squad members had sent a letter to Football Federation Australia indicating their preference for a male coach to replace the outgoing Tom Sermanni.

Matildas captain and goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri and former Matildas forward Sarah Walsh both used Twitter to say they were not involved.

Federal Sports Minister Kate Lundy was aware of the letter's existence, but did not want to comment on the matter because she had not seen it.

The FFA declined to comment.

Western Sydney Wanderers captain Walsh, who retired from international duties earlier this year, is the second highest goal scorer for the Matildas.

''I had nothing to do with the letter. However very curious as to how it made its way into the media? In Canberra,'' the striker tweeted on Friday.

Now on maternity leave, Barbieri tweeted: ''anyone can write letters on behalf of Matildas doesn't mean it's actually from the Matildas.''

Barbieri also used the social media site to indicate her only preference was for the best person for the coaching job, regardless of their gender.

She stood by those comments when contacted by Fairfax Media on Friday.

Barbieri is passionate about the game and wants the Matildas to be a force at World Cups and Olympic Games.

As long as the FFA appoints someone who can help her achieve her dreams of victory at both, she will be happy.

''As long as your brain and your heart is in the right atmosphere to get us to the next World Cup and win the next World Cup, that's all I care about,'' Barbieri said.

''I want a World Cup win, I want a gold medal at an Olympic Games and it's got to do with your heart and your head and not anything else.''

She said she had not seen the letter and reiterated she was not involved.

Barbieri said she was studying to be a coach herself and it would be counterproductive and hypocritical to request a male coach to take over from Sermanni. She wanted more women involved in coaching at the top level.

Matildas and Canberra United striker Michelle Heyman also used the twittersphere to voice her opinion.

''All this talk about a letter … There should have never been a letter to start with,'' the reigning W-League golden boot winner tweeted.

Heyman has been coached during the past two seasons by Jitka Klimkova, one of the few female coaches in the W-League.

Klimkova was also in the running for the Matildas coaching job and was interviewed last week.

Klimkova burst onto the Australian soccer scene and guided United to its first W-League title undefeated.

The FFA says there is no timeline on deciding on the Matildas coach. However, it is believed a decision will be made before the end of the year.

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Round 1
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SYD 1 vs MEC 1 Stats
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Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs MEC 19:30ES
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WEL vs NEW 16:00WS
ADE vs PER 17:00Coopers Stadium
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WST vs CCM 17:00Pirtek Stadium
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
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PER vs NEW 17:00NIB
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SYD vs CCM 16:00AS
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VIC vs WEL 19:30AAMI
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WST 18:30WS
ADE vs SYD 20:15Coopers Stadium
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NEW vs VIC 17:00HUN
BRI vs MEC 20:30SS
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CCM vs PER 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
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ADE vs WEL 17:00Coopers Stadium
SYD vs VIC 19:30AS
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Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:00AAMI
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BRI vs PER 17:00SS
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NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
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Round 9
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
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ADE vs MEC 19:30Coopers Stadium
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Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 19:30AS
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NEW vs WEL 17:00HUN
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Round 11
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 19:30Coopers Stadium
PER vs NEW 21:45NIB
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Round 12
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WST 20:00SS
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NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
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Round 13
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs PER 17:30AAMI
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CCM vs BRI 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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Round 14
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs MEC 17:00HUN
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Round 15
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SYD vs NEW 19:30WIN Stadium
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WEL vs BRI 15:00WS
CCM vs MEC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
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PER vs ADE 23:00NIB
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Round 16
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 17:00Coopers Stadium
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Round 18
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
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Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
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NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
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Round 21
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 19:30HUN
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WEL vs ADE 18:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
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Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 19:30Coopers Stadium
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NEW vs PER 16:00HUN
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Round 27
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