Westfield Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson has named his first squad for the upcoming internationals against Germany and the Netherlands later this month.
The 23 player squad features a mix of well established stars, together with a host of new faces in the travelling group to assemble in the Netherlands on 5 April.
13 players from the squad that helped Australia qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been included while seasoned defender Laura Brock, fellow defender Emma Checker, midfielders Amy Harrison, Amy Sayer and Ella Mastrantonio have been recalled.
The squad also sees four (4) uncapped players enter the senior national team environment for the first time including former Westfield Young Matildas Indiah-Paige Riley, Beattie Goad and Alex Huynh.
In their first matches since March 2020, Australia will face two of world football’s heavyweights in reigning Olympic Gold Medallists Germany and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 finalists, the Netherlands on 11 and 14 April (AEST), respectively.
“With this camp and international matches, the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take a signficant step forward and I am eager to see what the players will bring to the environment,” said Gustavsson.
Knowing the close bond between the playing group, this camp will be good for morale as we assemble for the first time in almost 400 days. The coaching staff and I have been watching them closely but coming together in person will bring a completely different dynamic.”
“Even with all the challenges that have been presented, including the decision to exclude selection of Australian based players, I believe this is a great chance to learn about the qualities of all the players; on and off the pitch.”
Six (6) players from the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers are not available for selection including midfielder Katrina Gorry who expecting her first child in August 2021. Meanwhile defender Steph Catley, midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight and forward Kyah Simon will continue injury rehabilitation in their home environments.
Between now and the Olympics, every camp and every match is crucial. Our focus for the next couple of months is to set high standards early and ensure we keep focussing on getting one day better in everything we do.”
“Germany and the Netherlands are extremely tough teams with incredibly talented players. They provide an opportunity for the coaching staff, Mel Andreatta and I to evaluate the team and closely examine how we want to evolve.”
“We have provided players with all the time possible to be considered for the match window, and we have leaned on our extensive scouting network to capture all available Australian players. The exciting part is that every player has the chance to prove themselves, whether they are an experienced player with almost 100 caps, or a player earning their first call up.”
“On the back of the announcement of the host cities, this is not only about Olympic preparation but it is also the start of our road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”
The Westfield Matildas’ fixtures against Germany and the Netherlands will be broadcast live in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Kayo, ABC TV, and My Football Live App.
WESTFIELD MATILDAS SQUAD INFORMATION:
|PLAYER NAME||CLUB||CAPS (GOALS)|
|Mackenzie ARNOLD||West Ham United (ENG)||24 (0)|
|Laura BROCK||En Avant de Guingamp (FRA)||60 (2)|
|Ellie CARPENTER||Lyon (FRA)||42 (1)|
|Emma CHECKER||UMF Selfoss (ISL)||5 (0)|
|Caitlin FOORD||Arsenal FC (ENG)||83 (20)|
|Mary FOWLER||Montpellier (FRA)||4 (0)|
|Emily GIELNIK||Vittsjo GIK (SWE)||37 (8)|
|Beatrice GOAD||SV Meppen (GER)||0 (0)|
|Amy HARRISON||PSV (NED)||13 (0)|
|Dylan HOLMES||BK Hächen (SWE)||0 (0)|
|Alexandra HUYNH||Napoli SC (ITA)||0 (0)|
|Alanna KENNEDY||Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)||87 (7)|
|Sam KERR||Chelsea FC (ENG)||88 (42)|
|Chloe LOGARZO||Kansas City (USA)||48 (8)|
|Aivi LUIK||Sevilla (ESP)||25 (0)|
|Ella MASTRANTONIO||Bristol City, (ENG)||6 (1)|
|Clare POLKINGHORNE||Vittsjo GIK (SWE)||125 (10)|
|Hayley RASO||Everton FC (ENG)||46 (6)|
|Indiah-Paige RILEY||Fortuna Hjorring (DEN)||0 (0)|
|Karly ROESTBAKKEN||LSK Kvinner (NOR)||6 (0)|
|Amy SAYER||Stanford University (USA)||3 (0)|
|Emily VAN EGMOND||West Ham United (ENG)||97 (23)|
|Lydia WILLIAMS||Arsenal FC (ENG)||88 (0)|
ADDITIONAL SQUAD NOTES:
- Defender Clare Polkinghorne is the most experienced player in the squad with 125 caps. The next most experienced player, midfielder Emily van Egmond (97), is closing in on the significant milestone of 100 internationals. Meanwhile midfielder Chloe Logarzo (48) edges closer to her 50th appearance in the green and gold.
- With her selection, goalkeeper Lydia Williams becomes the longest serving active Westfield Matilda as she enters a record 16th year with the national team. Williams (88 internationals) is the highest capped Westfield Matildas goalkeeper and has been a member of four FIFA Women’s World Cup and five AFC Women’s Asian Cup squads.
- Nine (9) players in the squad have 10 or fewer caps.
- The average caps per player in the squad is 38.
- Forwards Samantha Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Hayley Raso and Emily Gielnik enter the camp with strong goalscoring form with the quartet netting over 40 goals between them in their respective leagues.
- After a strong season with Swedish club Vittsjo GIK, former Brisbane Roar forward Emily Gielnik recently claimed the Golden Boot in the Westfield W-League for the first time with 13 goals in the 2020/21 season.
Germany v Westfield Matildas
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Venue: Brita-Arena Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden
Kick Off: 12:05am (AEST)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo, ABC TV, and My Football Live App
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in Germany is on Saturday, 10 April 2021 at 4:05pm local time.
Netherlands v Westfield Matildas
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Venue: NEC Stadium, Nijmegen
Kick Off: 2:30am (AEST)
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo, ABC TV, and My Football Live App
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in the Netherlands is on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 at 6:30pm local time.
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