Tracie McGovern has never regretted posing for the controversial Matildas nude calendar in 1999, but the former Australian representative is glad players don't need to do it today.
The Australian women's soccer team were little known as Sydney prepared to host the 2000 Olympic Games.
That quickly changed when 12 players, including McGovern, posed naked for the black and white calendar.
It was at a time when athletes from other sports were taking their clothes off to attract attention.
The move was contentious, and not everyone was happy with the baring of all, but it was also a power play.
So popular proved the calendar, a re-run was printed and, like it or not, there is no denying its intended purpose was achieved - the Matildas' name was out there - and it helped pave the way for a new era of football appreciation.
And, while the calendar might remain a touchy subject for some, it is an important part of the Matildas' journey to where they are today - two weeks out from co-hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup with New Zealand.
It is players like McGovern, those who came before the Sam Kerrs and the Ellie Carpenters, who laid the foundations for this historic moment.
"I don't remember how and whose idea the calendar was, I just remember the opportunity being put to us," McGovern told the Newcastle Herald from her home in Charlestown.
"Growing up, I was like a 'tomboy' and I played football. At a young age, I started sneaking into the local gym. I had footballer's legs and a lot of people would make comments, 'You look like a boy', because the athletic physique back then wasn't accepted like it is now.
"I just remember thinking I don't want to be ashamed of that any more. I wanted to show the athletic body, and that was the reason why I did it.
"Obviously, the other reason was the objective of why we were doing it, and that was to get the Matildas brand out there, so people leading up to the Olympics would know who the Matildas were, and, unfortunately, that's what we had to do. Lots of athletes were doing it. And, if we're honest, it worked."
It proved a talking point for many years to come and only recently have conversations about the Matildas changed focus for McGovern.
"For 15 years afterwards, if I ever got into a conversation with someone and said I played football and mentioned the Matildas, the first thing they would say was, 'Were you in the calendar?'," McGovern said.
"They weren't interested in your story, or what position you played. It was just, 'Were you in the calendar?', whereas, within say the last five to 10 years, if you have that same conversation with people outside the football circle, the first thing they'll say is, 'Oh my god, how good is Sam Kerr'. Or Alanna Kennedy. Or Ellie Carpenter.
"They know all of their names, and that makes me so happy because we got them there. We're at a point now where people are watching, whether it be on TV or at the games, and they're acknowledging the skills of the players."
You would have to be living under a rock to not know who the Matildas are now.
Kerr is a million-dollar player, a global superstar and even has a LEGO figurine in her honour.
That the World Cup is coming to Australia is "the best thing ever" for McGovern, whose own top-level football career ended far too soon.
The 45-year-old grew up in Wauchope playing junior football with the boys. By her high school senior years, she was part of Northern NSW Football's Intensive Training Centre program based out of Newcastle.
McGovern was an Australian junior representative and made her senior debut for the Matildas in Lismore in 1997.
By 1998, the athletic winger-turned-defender was relocating to Canberra as part of a 26-player squad vying for Olympic selection at the Sydney Games. Twenty players had full scholarships and six, including McGovern, were on half-scholarships. None would have been financially comfortable.
"The Olympic training squad all had to move to Canberra and, to be honest, I didn't really want to go," McGovern said.
"It was an older team. I was one of the younger players and instinctively I felt like I wasn't quite ready and it wasn't going to be good for me. I feel like I just needed to emotionally mature a bit more. Being so far away from your family, leaving all of your friends, leaving your lifestyle ... and it was quite a pressure-cooker environment because we were all striving for Olympic selection.
"I was one of the players that didn't have a full scholarship, so I had to work as well, pay rent, pay all of the bills.
"It was a lot for a young athlete, then you add injuries on top of that and it can come undone pretty quickly. So, I struggled mentally and emotionally a fair bit."
McGovern was training six days a week and had a job at the Australian Institute of Sport, but in the lead-up to the Olympics the section she worked in was shut down.
"I had to go to Centrelink," McGovern said. "It was a bit bizarre walking into Centrelink with your Institute of Sport gear on."
Injuries proved another stumbling block but nothing could have prepared her for the eventual pain of missing out on Olympic selection.
McGovern walked away from soccer with four caps for the Matildas and never played at any level again.
"It hurt. That hurt. In saying that, I had to decide do I pursue women's football when there's no money or do I go and get a career," she said.
"I worked for Brisbane Women's Soccer for many years but then I got into the mining industry and made a career out of safety and emergency. I had to make that choice."
Now, McGovern is a mother of two daughters, works as a safety coordinator, mentors young athletes and plans to pursue sports counselling to "provide what I didn't have".
"People didn't talk about mental health or your well-being back then," she said.
The calendar print is framed and has been "everywhere" with McGovern. On it is written, 'Wauchope, family, friends is where my success comes from'.
"It's normally hanging up in my home office," she said. "It's becoming more of a topic now. It's kind of something that's been buried for 23 years.
"But, because I've had to pull it out and talk about it a lot lately, I look at it now and I'm proud of it ... and I don't think we need to be ashamed of it. It was just what we had to do at the time. It's great that the girls wouldn't have to do it unless they chose to do it now."
McGovern will be among over 80,000 spectators at Stadium Australia when the Matildas open their World Cup campaign against Ireland on July 20.
It will be an emotional but special moment, and one she cannot wait for.
"It's kind of ironic that it's been moved to Accor, which is old Olympic Park, and I'll be there with my family," McGovern said.
"Could that be like the Olympics that I never got to go to."
That a World Cup is here is beyond her wildest dreams and McGovern wants to soak up every minute.
"We've got the Matildas' farewell match coming up against France in Melbourne ... There's about 80 of us [Matildas alumni] going down to that and the excitement is building," she said.
"There's just so much to look forward to and I'm really enjoying my time being in and around the football community again."