Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson knows he can no longer keep the lid on the hype surrounding Mary Fowler following her stunning displays during Australia's Olympic qualifiers.
Fowler's long-range wonder strike helped lift Australia to a 3-0 win over plucky Taiwan in Perth on Wednesday night.
It was her second goal across the three qualifiers, and she also set up numerous others for her teammates.
Fowler shot to prominence at this year's World Cup, and she's now a regular starter at English powerhouse Manchester City.
The 20-year-old appears destined for superstardom - perhaps even in the stratosphere of Sam Kerr.
"How am I going to keep the expectations down on that one now?" Gustavsson quipped when asked about Fowler's rising profile.
"The funny thing is that when she pulls off that goal tonight - that's what we see in training every day.
"Left foot, right foot, inside of the foot, laces, clipped balls.
"She's quick at decision making, she knows exactly where the goal is and where the goalkeeper is and where the opening is.
"And her finishing is just one of a kind. I think Sam (Kerr) has said it before - it's one of the best finishes she's ever played with."
Fowler is now a star in her own right, but Gustavsson doesn't want the speedy attacker to be bogged down by responsibilities or expectations.
"I think one of the reasons why Mary can be Mary is because the other players around allow her just to be Mary and then adjust to that so she can play free from fear and just enjoy the game," Gustavsson said.
"That's what I want her to keep doing no matter what happens in terms of expectations or headlines. Just be Mary."
Fowler said she had enjoyed the freedom under Gustavsson.
"I think it always helps when you get the backing from the coach and the freedom to be able to do that and just to rotate," Fowler said.
"I think we're all very free-thinking kind of players and ball players.
"So to be able to move around quite a bit, it's very unpredictable for the other team and it just allows us to play our game and have fun out there."
The Matildas will face Uzbekistan in a two-legged play-off in February, with the winner to secure a spot at the 2024 Olympics.
Australian Associated Press
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