Matildas Alanna Kennedy, Hayley Raso, and Sam Kerr ready to go head-to-head as Manchester City face Chelsea in FA Cup final

Alanna Kennedy will put her fear of flying to one side on Monday, travelling half-way around the world looking for family, sunny beaches, and better coffee.

But before she gets home, the Matilda has to spoil Sunday night for her national team captain.

That’s when Kennedy will lace up for Manchester City in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium and take on fellow Aussie Sam Kerr, whose two goals helped Chelsea win the trophy last year against Arsenal.

Sam Kerr scored a brace, including an audacious chip, to hand Chelsea the FA Cup title last season.(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Kerr is coming off another superb season with the Blues, winning her second consecutive Women’s Super League title as well as another Golden Boot.

Kennedy is also in fine form, recovering from a difficult start to her time in Manchester but lately settling into a back-line that has conceded just five goals in their last 14 matches, all of which they won.

Not even a broken nose suffered playing for Australia against New Zealand in Canberra last month has stopped the 26-year-old.

Kennedy realised her nose was broken when she saw herself on the big screen at GIO Stadium.


“I had a feeling,” she told AAP. “I heard and felt a big crack and tried to speak to a few people around me.

“They probably didn’t want to scare me. When I saw myself on the screen I thought I’d have a look. It wasn’t ideal, but it’s all fixed now.”

The Sydneysider wore a mask for a few matches, but the nose has now been straightened and she’s free to try and combat Kerr without it.

“Sam is an amazing player who I’ve had the pleasure of playing with, so I obviously know a lot about her and I think that’s helpful,” she said.

“Her movement is very smart. She finds good areas off the shoulders of the defenders, on their blind side.

“She’s a great finisher and the timing of her headers and the power and redirection she puts into them is a huge strength of hers.

Beyond Sunday’s final, Kennedy is also looking forward to the 2023 Women’s World Cup on home soil.

“I think it’ll be huge,” she said.

“The Matildas have grown so much over the last five or six years across Australia and the support has been amazing, but to bring the best tournament in the world for women’s football to Australia and New Zealand will just be a huge eye-opener for young girls and boys playing football.

“We can’t wait for it. It’s obviously very rare that you get the opportunity to play in your home country at a World Cup. I feel really lucky.”

A projected image in the sydney opera house of blue and green confetti falling behind Sam Kerr mid-backflip
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.(Twitter: The Matildas)

Kennedy has never been to Wembley, but having played in an Olympic semi-final, a World Cup quarter-final, and Asian Cup final, the 27-year-old is “excited” rather than nervous.

The Campbelltown-born Kennedy has played for five clubs in Australia, including City’s Melbourne offshoot, two in the USA, as well as Tottenham Hotspur and City in England.

Is she finally setting down roots?

“I feel City is a good fit for me,” she said. “It’s the kind of football I’ve always wanted to play.

“I feel more like myself. You like to get comfortable and settle, and feel you can really grow somewhere. I feel like I’m on my way to doing that here and we’ll see what the future holds for me at this club.”


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