Alanna Kennedy grew up knowing more about the United States national team, a team more than 12,000 kilometres away from her Sydney home, than she did about the Matildas - a team she would go on to play for.
It is a different story in 2021 for young players, with the Matildas and names like Kennedy, Sam Kerr, Ellie Carpenter and others becoming household names. But one thing is sure to cement the side even further into the psyche of Australians, the 2023 World Cup.
The home world cup - dual-hosted by Australia and New Zealand - is less than two years away and it means nothing but positive growth for the code and female players. It means more funding for the game, a long awaited expansion in the A-League Women's, increased promotion of the Matildas and in turn, putting the world game front and centre.
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Kennedy said the increased promotion, and the ability for young Australians to watch on home soil and be inspired was exciting, as it was something she was not exposed to.
"I mean, growing up I remember knowing a lot more about the US Women's national team than any other national team, because they were so well represented across the different platforms, relative to those times back then," she said.
"So I think for us in Australia. It's so exciting now that the Matildas have so much more exposure and so much more visibility. Alongside so many more games being played in Australia for young girls and boys to come and watch. We didn't really have that when I was growing up."
It was not until she got older and more involved in the game she started to know more about the Matildas and looked up to Collette McCallum - who happened to wear her favourite number, number 14 - for her technicality on her left foot, her vision and her game understanding.
For the first time since March 2020, two dates have been set for Australia's first home matches. In late October, after many of the COVID-19 vaccination targets have been reached, the Matildas are set to face Brazil in two friendlies in Sydney to end their 596-day game streak outside of Australia.
Kennedy has been on the receiving end of what the exposure equates to, as young fans have drawn a number of her 20 or so tattoos on themselves, older ones have actually copied some of her tattoos and a few have been brought to tears when they got to meet her.
"I remember a couple of years ago in Melbourne, it was caught on camera, one of the young girls crying her eyes out when she met me, which was really, really sweet," she said.
"That was really sweet to see how excited she was, but I think one of the things that is probably most memorable was when I saw a young girl drawing my tattoos on her arm, which is why I now have designed my own tattoo sheet ... based on her doing that and and she wasn't the only one. I saw it at another game, maybe after I had posted it on my Instagram.
"I remember someone else sent me a photo of them drawing them on and I also had someone get the exact same tattoo that I have tattooed on them."
In addition to the exposure of the Cup, it will also mark a historic first for the tournament, with 32 sides set to compete instead of the usual 24, to bring the competition into line with the men's world cup.
Canberra's Karly Roestbakken agreed the home world cup would be inspirational to the next generation of players and was an important step to furthering the game.
"Getting it and winning the bid to have it on home soil makes young kids realise like, 'wow, Australia is growing its football' and it just shows that anything is possible," she said.
"I think that having a major tournament like this on home soil, it's just going to really open kids eyes, and really inspire them to go out there and do what they want to do whether it's in sport or if it's in school or whatever it is, it will definitely inspire them to go there and chase their dreams.
"I know a lot of like young kids, they always talk about the men's side ... but we have amazing female athletes in all sports, but in football there's amazing players and I think to bring the best players to this country, it's just going to prove to everyone what women can actually do."