Kerr perplexed as Matildas share meal time with rivals
MATILDAS superstar Sam Kerr still can't get her head around the fact her team dines with some of their main rivals at the AFC Asian Cup in Jordan.
Kerr and her teammates are staying at the same Amman hotel as Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, and meal times, she says, unintentionally become tense.
It's not uncommon for teams to be at the same lodgings in the Asian Cup - men and women - but it still doesn't make one of the world's best players comfortable.
"It's ideal to have our own meal room,'' Kerr said.
"When you go and have a meal and there's two other teams in there, you're kind of staring each other down.
"I guess it's a good thing we have a lot of respect for Japan, South Korea and Vietnam.
"Every time we see them we say hello or whatever it is in their language.
"It's pretty chill in there, it's OK, but once the games start I'm not sure how they will react getting in that meal room."
"It's thankfully not teams we don't like,'' added Kerr, recalling when the Young Matildas and China brawled after the 2009 Asian under-19s championship match that Australia lost 2-1.
The tension was fierce later at the teams' hotel.
With Amman's armed security at the teams' hotel very visible, Kerr's first trip to Jordan has been memorable, including the culture shock of the nation allowing smokers to stay inside to have a puff - a trait that disappeared in Australia by law by 2003.
"The first bus trip into Amman was a little bit of an eye-opener, just to see how different the country is and the different cultures," Kerr said.
"We've travelled to so many places and seen so many cultures and the people here are so nice."
Kerr arrived in the Middle East late last weekend at the tailend of a bad cold she picked up in Perth before playing a major part in belting 5-0 Thailand in a friendly.
Kerr missed another friendly against Perth Glory's youth side because of the symptoms last week.
She is, however, confident of being fit to start against South Korea in the opening match on Sunday morning (EST), saying grabbing all points is vitally important.
Australia plays its first match as part of a double-header, with Japan and Vietnam opening Group B at King Abdullah II Stadium.
"A win will give us an easier start and if you lose your first one in the tournament you'll feel a little bit of panic in the squad and it's not good for confidence,'' Kerr said.
"I'm really confident we can win. We're the better team but we've definitely put in the hard yards."