The Illawarra's World Cup stars had mixed fortunes on their return to club football in the English Women's Super League last weekend.
Former Illawarra Stingrays Caitlin Foord and Mary Fowler played for both Arsenal and Manchester City respectively and had vastly different starts.
Fowler - who had her breakout role with the Matildas at the recent World Cup - started in City's 2-0 win against West Ham, who are skippered by Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold. The Matildas goalkeeper saved a penalty in the match.
The 20-year-old played out the entire 90 minutes along with Matildas teammate Alanna Kennedy. After failing to make a single start for the entire 2022/23 season, Fowler looks set to play a key role in the team this time round.
Meanwhile Warilla junior Foord played the entire match for the Gunners but went down at the Emirates in a shock result against Liverpool.
However it was not to be a happy return for the Australians with the reds scoring in the second half thanks to a Miri Taylor goal.
Also featuring along with Foord and Catley was one of Arsenal's newest signings, Kyra Cooney-Cross. After a breakout World Cup campaign, the energetic midfielder was signed with the English powerhouses from Swedish club Hammarby. The former Victory and Wanderers A-League Women's product made her debut for after coming on as a substitute in the 86th minute.
Whilst it was not the result the trio were looking for on the opening day of the season, there was some good news for Arsenal with a record crowd in attendance at the Emirates.
Off the back of England making the World Cup final in Australia, the official crowd figure was 54,115, beating the previous WSL record of 47,367 set by Arsenal at the same venue over a year ago in the North London derby against Tottenham.
Meanwhile a potential Matildas player for the future - Figtree junior Mackenzie Hawkesby - was on the team sheet but did not make a full debut for Brighton & Hove Albion.
The midfielder made the big move to the Super League after years of dominance for Sydney FC in the A-League Women's.
She sat on the bench in a 2-1 win away against Everton. Former Sydney FC player Charlize Rule made her debut for Albion.
As for other Australians, Matildas captain Sam Kerr did not feature for Chelsea and the same can be said for former Sydney FC striker Remy Siemsen at Leicester. Despite this, both sides got victories. Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-1 and Leicester defeated Bristol 4-2.
In round two of the WSL, Arsenal face a tough challenge away to Manchester United, Brighton take on West Ham, Manchester City face Chelsea, Tottenham play Bristol, Leicester host Everton and the round is capped off with the Merseyside derby, Liverpool against Everton.
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