John Gorza has joined the Westfield Matildas coaching staff for the inaugural Cup of Nations, which starts this week. Picture: © Tristan Furney / Football Federation Australia
John Gorza has joined the Westfield Matildas coaching staff for the inaugural Cup of Nations, which starts this week. Picture: © Tristan Furney / Football Federation Australia Tristan Furney / FFA

Gorza guiding Matildas last line of defence at Cup

FOOTBALL: Mooloolaba's John Gorza is relishing his role in preparing the Matildas for success in looming major international tournaments.

The long-serving Football Federation Australia goalkeeping coach joined the team's coaching staff for the inaugural Cup of Nations last week following the departure of Paul Jones. Jones, along with assistant coach Nahuel Arrarte, resigned from their positions following the sacking of coach Alen Stajcic.

While he joins the group following a turbulent period, Gorza was taking the opportunity with both hands in a bid to help the goalkeeping ranks push forward.

"The whole idea now is to get the focus back on the football and get the team and players used to the new head coach's playing style and how we do things,” Gorza said.

"So we can move forward quickly because there's really not a lot of time between now and the world cup and it's all about putting strategies in place and getting everyone on the same page.”

The Cup of Nations kicks off this week, with the Matildas taking on New Zealand on Thursday, Korea Republic on Sunday and Argentina next Wednesday.

Gorza was excited to help the side's three goalkeepers - Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold and Eliza Campbell - get match ready for the competition.

"I've actually worked with all the keepers that are involved with the Matildas in the past 10 or 12 years in various national youth teams so I know them already,” he said.

"I'm fortunate we've got two quality keepers and our third keeper Eliza Campbell has also had a great season in the W-League. So, from that point of view we're looking very good.

"They've been to world cups and Asian cups so they're very experienced and high quality - it's pretty easy to work with those kinds of keepers, that's for sure.”

Gorza, who runs the Coast-based Goalkeeping Australia Academy, has been busy in camp this week with the Australian squad and said things were progressing well.

"I've worked with the Matildas and young Matildas in the past so it's not new to me but certainly coming in at this time (for the Cup of Nations and in a world cup year) is very exciting,” he said.

"It's been very positive the whole camp and everyone is really focussed in moving forward.”

He believed the women were in for a good hit-out at the Cup of Nations.

"The end goal is obviously the world cup so this is great preparation for that,” he said.

"To win it would be great but it's all about preparing for the world cup because that's the biggest stage of all.”

While just employed for the current Cup of Nations campaign, Gorza was open to staying involved and providing guidance to the side's goalkeepers.

"I'm certainly very happy to be on board for this period and then we'll see what happens,” he said.

Gorza is the current Sunshine Coast Wanderers head goalkeeping coach and regularly works with local clubs.


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