Kyra Cooney-Cross has made a massive post-FIFA Women’s World Cup move and joined fellow Matildas Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord at Arsenal as the Australian presence continues to grow around the football world.
The 21-year-old Queenslander, who starred in the midfield for the Matildas at the World Cup, has moved to the Gunners from Swedish club Hammarby.
The huge move from Cooney-Cross comes as four of her Matildas teammates and coach Tony Gustavsson were nominated for prestigious individual FIFA awards with Foord, Mary Fowler and Sam Kerr vying for women’s player of the year honours.
Shot-stopper Mackenzie Arnold was one of seven nominees for best women’s goalkeeper on the back of her penalty shoot-out heroics in Australia’s quarter-final win over France at the World Cup.
Gustavsson is one of five nominees for best women’s coach, along with Spain’s World Cup winner Jonatan Giraldez.
After success with Celtic in Scotland before his move to Tottenham Hotspur, Ange Postecoglou has also been nominated for best men’s coach of the year and is vying with Manchester City guru Pep Guardiola for the award.
Cooney-Cross, who has 39 Matildas caps, has continued to elevate her game through stints with Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers and then in Sweden before landing her deal with the Gunners.
“I’m so excited to join this club,” she said.
“Arsenal just felt right as soon as I heard about the interest.
“I’m really looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere at Emirates Stadium in front of a big crowd for our first game there this season.
“I can’t wait to get started and help us achieve something big together.”
Arsenal coach Jonas Eidevall rated Cooney-Cross “one of the best young players in world football”.
“We are delighted to have brought her to Arsenal,” Eidevall said.
“Her passing ability and explosiveness allow her to affect games in a way you rarely see from such a young player, so we firmly believe she will be an excellent addition to our midfield, now and in the future.”
Arsenal’s head of women’s football Clare Wheatley said: “We are so pleased to have brought Kyra to our club.
“At the age of 21, she already has impressive experience at domestic and international level and we believe she has huge potential for future development.
“Together with our supporters, we welcome Kyra to the Arsenal family and look forward to seeing her play in the red and white.”
AUSTRALIAN FIFA AWARD NOMINEES
The Best FIFA Women’s Player:
Caitlin Foord; Mary Fowler Sam Kerr
The Best FIFA Women’s Coach:
The Best FIFA Men’s Coach:
The Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper Nominees
Originally published as Kyra Cooney-Cross has joined Matildas teammates at Arsenal