Canberra United stars Rachel Corsie and Nicki Flannery described taking on the Chinese National team as an exciting opportunity when they spoke to media on Tuesday morning.
Corsie and Flannery, along with teammates, visited the Centenary Hospital for Women & Children with the Canberra Hospital Foundation and Tom Efkarpidis Foundation to help brighten Christmas for some families and children in a tough spot.
Sham Khamis, Cass Zafina, Laura Hughes and Rosie Galea visited the paediatric ward with Corsie and Flannery to hand out gifts and put a smile on the face of youngsters who are in hospital over the festive season.
The visit was well received, and Flannery was beaming as she spoke about the opportunity to give back to the community.
“It just makes me smile inside and out,” she said.
“Giving presents to families and kids who maybe don’t get to enjoy Christmas as much as other kids.”
“It’s a way for us to help out a community that supports us so much, and it’s important for these families who deserve to have just as good a Christmas as everyone else.”
Flannery also expressed her excitement to take on China and said it is a great chance for her and other members of the team to show their worth against a quality opponent.
“I haven’t played as much as I would have liked in the past year, so to take on a team like China is so exciting.”
“If I want to become a Matilda then they are an opponent I will no doubt come up against.”
“There’s been some change in the squad of late, and that’s Football.
“But I’m excited to prove my worth and show Heather that I can make a starting role mine in the weeks to come.”
United skipper Corsie said the clash against China will be good preparation for United ahead of a tough festive period against some of the best teams in the league.
United take on Melbourne away on the 22nd, before returning to McKellar Park on the 27th to face the Roar and then head to Perth early in the new year for a meeting with Perth Glory.
“The chance to play against China I know will be excellent preparation ahead of a tough period over Christmas,” Corsie said.
“We’re going to be playing plenty of games against good teams so it’s important that we make sure we’re in top shape.”
“It will be great for some of our girls to get good exposure against an international side here so it will just be beneficial for us as a whole.
“The last time I played them they were very structured and they like to have the ball, so it will be a challenge I think for the girls to play against a team with a different style to what some of them are used to here.”
The clash will also be an opportunity for South African duo Refiloe Jane & Rhoda Mulaudzi to take a look at an opponent they will face in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
United take on China at 5pm on Thursday at Perry Park in Brisbane.