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Australia captain Roestbakken focused on the task at hand

Chonburi: Captain Karly Roestbakken is adamant that Australia are not about to take anything for granted when they begin their AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 Group A campaign on Sunday.

The Young Matildas stormed through two rounds of qualifying to seal their place at the Continental gathering where they will open their bid for glory against former title winners DPR Korea.

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Despite entering the fray as one of the pre-tournament favourites, Roestbakken is refusing to get carried away, preferring instead to remain focused on the task at hand at a competition where the top three finishers are guaranteed berths at next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

“I think any game here, any team here, is going to be good competition [for us],” explained the Canberra United defender.

“We can’t go into a game thinking that one is going to be harder than the other. Our main focus is just to try to get through and do our best to qualify.

“We always take it game by game, but obviously our overall goal is to get to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. We think of the big picture, but we also take small steps and take each game as it comes.”

Australia will also face Thailand and Vietnam in the group stage, with Roestbakken insisting that Leah Blayney’s charges are raring to go as they seek to improve on the nation’s previous best finish of third in 2006.

“The whole team is ready to go,” she said.

“We have been outing in the hard yards over the last month and we can’t wait to get going."

“I think this tournament will be able to showcase what we are as a team and then hopefully we can step up and prove that we are building a bridge between the senior team and ourselves.

“We are very team based, a very united front. We go out there and we work for each other and play as a team. I want us to go out there and win and try to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.”

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