The Matildas moved to the German town of Bochum on Thursday to prepare for their upcoming must-win game against Equatorial Guinea.
The stadium in Bochum is a wonderful compact venue with seating all around and very close to the action, and has a capacity of just under 20,000; the sort of stadium football is crying out for in Australia.
Not only are the fans close to the action but so too are the players. Both teams are staying at the Renaissance hotel next to the ground, a mere 200 metres from the stadium, as were Germany and Nigeria who played on Thursday evening.
Unbelievably all of the teams must travel to the stadium by bus, something that several of the teams have questioned. FIFA have advised that this is one of the protocols; all teams must travel to the games by bus, primarily for safety reasons. The second reason given was that the teams have to be filmed climbing off the bus!
So on Sunday at lunchtime Tom Sermanni’s team will board the bus outside the hotel, drive away from the ground just 200metres away, and go around the roundabout and head back to the ground. A two-minute journey will be increased to a five minute one! Hardly time for the girls to get through one tune on their iPods, or even think deeply about the upcoming match.