Logarzo back in green and gold

Chloe Logarzo (Western United/ Getty Images)

Western United’s Chloe Logarzo is back in the Matildas squad after being called up by Tony Gustavsson for the Olympic qualifiers against Uzbekistan.

It represents a return to Matildas camp for the first time since November 2022 and is just reward for Logarzo following the journey that she has been on to recover from an ACL injury over the last 18 months.

The United co-captain has been dominating the A-League Women, scoring five goals and adding two assists in her 14 appearances this season.

“It’s really nice to be back,” she said.

“I don’t really know how to put it into words, I don’t think I am excited, I know that sounds weird, I think it’s just one of those sighs of relief that I was able to get myself back into a position to be back wearing this emblem and representing my nation again, so I’m just excited with the opportunity to be a part of something that I’ve wanted to be a part of for a really long time.

“I’m just trying to have fun and I think when there’s no expectations and you play without fear you have this sense of freedom when you’re playing and I think that’s oozing out in my game and is a by-product of what I’ve been enjoying.”

Logarzo said allowing herself to believe she would be back representing her country one day was tough to do, but people at Western United helped push her back into the Matildas’ squad.

“My assistant coach Chelsea [Noonan] has really brought it out of me, I know it was deep down inside somewhere that I wanted to be here,” she said.

“I never really voiced it or said it allowed myself to voice it so her ability to work with me week in week out to find that desire to be back here has been the only reason that I am here.

“So I’m grateful for the club and I’m grateful for the people that have been in my corner pushing me to find the love of the game again.”

Logarzo will be hoping to add to her 55 caps for the Matildas as the side takes on Uzbekistan for a place at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Matildas take on the central Asian nation in a two-legged tie, with the winner earning qualification to the Olympics. The first leg will take place in Tashkent on February 24 before the return leg at Marvel Stadium on February 28.

“Every game is important for us and I think it’ll be a really good challenge,” she said.

“I know it’s going to be hot in Uzbekistan and I know it’s going to be hot here, so it’ll be one of those situations where we will be settling into it and for the girls to come together after the Christmas break is going to be really good.

“The pressure is always on, we still need to qualify for the Olympics so it’s about putting our heads down and working hard.”

Western United sit in second on the ladder ahead of its clash with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

In the club’s most recent game, against Brisbane Roar, Logaro was pivotal in getting the three points, scoring a brace including the winning penalty in the 92nd minute.

“To play in front of our fans is always special and to do it when we’ve got the chase on to get some silverware and towards the back end of the season when we’re coming into form and we’re playing really good football is something that’s really exciting,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to playing with the girls and just taking this one day at a time until I get into camp.

“My main focus right now is to just worry about the league and do the job that I need to do until I’m not here anymore.”

Logarzo has previously played at two Olympics, helping Australia to the quarter-finals at the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro before reaching the bronze medal match in Tokyo in 2021.