The unprecedented success of the women’s national team must be celebrated, but the blowtorch will be hotter than ever next year

When the Matildas doctor pulled out the stethoscope to briefly examine Steph Catley during Wednesday’s 1-0 friendly defeat against Canada, she could have shared it around.

After all, the Matildas have tested the hearts of football fans in 2023. They were bursting in the middle of the year, off the back of Australia’s epic run in the World Cup. The path there was full of palpitations. And now, a touch of heartburn, in these last two defeats against Canada.

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