Striker Sam Kerr said the Matildas can create a lasting legacy for women's soccer in Australia when they co-host this year's Women's World Cup in the same way Cathy Freeman inspired a generation of athletes at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Australia will co-host the tournament with New Zealand in July and August, with the Matildas keen to improve on their run to the last 16 in France four years ago.

Indigenous Australian Freeman lit the cauldron at the Sydney Games before going on to win gold in the 400 meters, and Kerr wants to inspire future generations in a similar manner.

"If you ask half the girls in the team, their idol growing up was Cathy Freeman," the 29-year-old said.

"So for us, that's the legacy we want to leave — that we inspire the nation, we move the nation to believe in women's football, believe in the Matildas."

Kerr also called for an increase in government funding for women's soccer.

"I think we already have the highest participation rate in the country, so it's about getting the people higher up to believe in the sport," she added.

"You see the funding that AFL, rugby, all those sports get before women's football, I think it's about getting the money into football to allow girls to play, to allow girls to have the opportunities to get to where they want to be.

"With the Socceroos' success at the World Cup, we saw the amount of funding highlighted. So we have the participation, we have the love for the game, but the lasting legacy will hopefully be that we get the funding that the sport deserves."