Four Sky Blues Stars Selected For Young Matildas

Four young Sydney FC Premiership winning stars will join the Australian Women’s U-20 squad for training this month, as they continue their preparations for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ to be held in August this year. 

Sarah Hunter, Charlie Rule, Jessika Nash and Kahli Johnson will be among the 30 hopefuls who will come together at Blacktown International Sportspark from the 10th May.

The week-long camp follows last month’s international series against New Zealand which finished with a 5-1 win and a 1-1 draw for the Aussies.

Both Hunter and Johnson were involved in those games with Hunter scoring in both and Johnson in the 5-1 win.

Sarah Hunter scored two great goals against New Zealand U20’s in last month’s International Series. Photo: Anthony Caffrey / Football Australia

18-year old midfielder Hunter is excited by the prospect of being part of an Australian World Cup squad.

“It’s around 100 days away from the World Cup and it would mean the world to me to be part of the squad,” she said.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the past few years and with Covid-19, it has been challenging to get international experience.

“But we now have a World Cup to look forward to and it would mean the world to me to play in that.”

Hunter was happy with her performances against the Kiwi’s in the recent international series.

“I’m one of the more experienced players in the squad having had some Liberty A-League Women’s game time and I felt like I needed to step up and be a bit of a leader for the squad both on and off the pitch.

“Hopefully I achieved that.”

Sydney FC forward Kahli Johnson wants World Cup U20’s selection.
Photo: Ann Odong / Football Australia

Kahli Johnson, who is also 18, is looking forward to the training camp.

“I’m very excited about the idea of representing my country at the U20’s World Cup and am very thankful for this opportunity,” she said.

“Next week’s camp is a great opportunity to be able to play my best and to train at a high level with some great players.”

Head Coach and former Sky Blue Leah Blayney welcomed the return of the players into another national team camp as they continue to lay the foundations for their World Cup campaign. 

“In building towards the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™, we have put together a strategy that gradually allows for the players to expand their knowledge in a considered manner,” Blayney said. 

“With this camp we will introduce the next set of concepts, reinforce the positives that came out of the review of the April internationals, while continuing to foster cohesion and understanding within the team.

“In terms of squad selection, the door continues to remain open, and we will still have the purpose of rewarding impressive performances.

“We have added some new faces to this camp as acknowledgement of strong a A-Leagues Women season and bringing in those who are currently performing in their NPL environments across the country.” 

Later this week Blayney and the CommBank Young Matildas’ group stage opponents will be revealed when the Official Draw takes place in the early hours of the morning on Friday, 6 May at the Teatro Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.