Meet the six Sydney FC players in the Young Matildas

The Young Matildas have selected six Sydney FC players for the 2024 AFC U-20s Women’s Asian Cup, with the competition set to kick off on the 3rd of March in Uzbekistan.

Shay Hollman, Zara Kruger, Indiana Dos Santos, Jynaya Dos Santos, Tahlia Franco and Maddie Caspers have received call-ups for the squad as they look to take the Young Matildas to their first AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup win in the two-week-long tournament.

The six players will also compete for a spot in the 2024 Women’s U20s World Cup in Colombia, and they will make it if they can get out of their group with South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan.

Take a look at the achievements of six Sky Blues players who will feature in this tournament.

Shay Hollman – Shay Hollman is a graduate of the Sydney FC Academy, training with the boy’s side for three years, which she has recounted as “amazing”.

She has made 35 appearances with the Sky Blues women’s side since debuting at age 16, where she won the A-League Women’s Championship and Premiership last season. Shay Hollman is the sister of fellow Sky Blue Corey Hollman and Macarthur Bulls’ Jake Hollman, of whom she said: “playing with them has very much benefited my career.”

Shay Hollman with the Sky Blues

On a national level, Hollman captained the Australia U18 Side in the AFF championship in 2022, where she won the best player award in that competition after her side only conceded a single goal and were undefeated.

Zara Kruger – Zara Kruger is now a regular name seen on the lineup for the Young Matildas after featuring in matches against China in the AFC qualifying tournament.

Kruger celebrates her maiden A-League goal

For Sydney FC, Kruger has featured in 14 games for the Sky Blues after she signed with them at the beginning of the Liberty A-League season. Her most significant achievement came against the Newcastle Jets three weeks ago, when she scored her first goal in her A-League career in the game’s dying moments.

Kruger grew up living on a farm 130 kilometres south of Brisbane, and at 16 years old, she signed with the Roar, where she appeared ten times for the side.

Indiana Dos Santos – Indiana Dos Santos is the youngest Liberty A-League woman ever to win the Championship in the competition’s history, as she was part of the Sky Blues in their win last season.

Indiana Dos Santos lifts the Premiers Plate last season

She was also the fifth-youngest player ever to score in the competition’s history when she slotted the opening goal for Sydney FC against Perth Glory in their 4-2 win in March 2023, aged 15 years old. Some of the other players also on that list are Matildas, Sam Kerr and Emily Van Egmond.

Currently, 16, Dos Santos has featured with the Junior Matildas (U17’s) and recently the Young Matildas against China and was part of the extended squad in the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup Round Two qualifiers. She has started the last four games for Sydney FC.

Jynaya Dos Santos – Similar to her sister, Jynaya Dos Santos has flourished in her youth career with the Sky Blues, appearing nine times across two seasons for Sydney FC and scoring her first goal at 18 years old against Wellington Phoenix.

Jynaya Dos Santos celebrating her goal against Wellington Pheonix

Dos Santos has been selected for the Young Matildas, featuring in Round One of the AFC qualifiers, and was part of the U20’s World Cup squad, which played against Spain and Brazil.

Tahlia Franco – Born in 2006, Tahlia Franco has been named with the Young Matildas since World Cup preparations in 2022, where she was in the extended side that played against Mexico and Colombia.

Tahlia Franco in action against Melbourne City

Franco is the backup keeper under Matilda, Jada Whyman, and has played for the Sky Blues against Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, where she secured a clean sheet against City last February.

She was part of the Championship and Premiership-winning Sydney FC squad last season and has also represented the Junior Matildas in the AFF U18’s Women Championship, where she conceded just once and kept a clean sheet in the final against Vietnam.

Maddie Caspers – After signing with the Sky Blues permanently in December, Maddie Caspers has taken the Liberty A-League by storm, scoring three goals in her last four appearances against the Glory, Victory and Jets.

Caspers (centre) celebrates her goal with Indi Dos Santos and Cortnee Vine

The 16-year-old midfielder has appeared seven times for Sydney FC, earning the January nomination for the 2023/2024 Liberty A-League Young Footballer of the Year award, and was nominated for Goal of the Week for her goal against Perth two weeks ago.

Having 78{98698ff7ed92b99d4e0cecdfdc9e4dccf4922e0a04ff9db373daf4aa83b73fe2} accurate passes per game, she rates higher than any other player at Sydney FC. Caspers will return to the Young Matildas after last playing with them in the qualifying tournament for the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup.

Match Details:

Young Matildas v South Korea
AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 
Sunday 3rd March, 2024
Dustlik Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Kick Off: 7:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10Play

Young Matildas v Uzbekistan
AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 
Wednesday 6th March, 2024
Jar Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Kick Off: 10:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10Play

Young Matildas v Chinese Taipei
AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup 
Sunday 9th March, 2024
Dustlik Stadium, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Kick Off: 7:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10Play