Six Sky Blues have been selected by Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic for the upcoming international tri series as he named his 24-player squad on Monday.
Nicola Bolger, Teresa Polias, Servet Uzunlar, Kyah Simon, Casey Dumont and uncapped youngster Amy Harrison were all seclected to take part in the internationals against New Zealand and DPR Korea in Auckland.
In what will be the Westfield Matildas’ first matches since the team finished runners up at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in May last year, the squad for this upcoming international tri series features a host of familiar names as well as some fresh faces and players who are returning to the national team setup.
There are 16 players from last year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign, including current Asian Player of the Year Katrina Gorry, while Larissa Crummer, 16 year old Alex Chidiac and Amy Harrison are three new players in the squad, the trio having impressed at the training camps Stajcic has held in the lead up to these matches.
“Alex Chidiac has done really well. She’s a youngster who has impressed at camp so it will be a good opportunity for her to gain some experience and come on a tour with the national team,” said Stajcic.
Midfielders Kyah Simon and Aivi Luik are two players who are back in calculation after overcoming injuries. In contrast, there are some notable absentees that could not be considered because of injury.
“There are a few girls returning from injury and a few girls that are currently injured as well such as Ellie Brush, Kate Gill, Sam Kerr, Lydia Williams and Tameka Butt so there are a number of girls still in contention,” said Stajcic.
“These two matches are the first step in the process and it’s going to be an excellent examination on how our players are travelling and how they can step up to that level.
“We’ll certainly be using these two games to test some players that either haven’t played for a while or are just reemerging back into the national team so we want to see if they’re capable at that level.”
Seen as an important part of the Westfield Matildas’ preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada, Stajcic believes the chance to face a DPR Korea side that is currently ranked 7th in the FIFA world rankings as well as the 18th ranked Football Ferns will provide a fitting gauge to the progress made in the past month.
“We’ve had three camps and the team has progressed really well on and off the field,” said Stajcic.
“Obviously it will be a big test to jump straight back into international football after that little period, especially DPR Korea who are one of the best teams in the world, but we think we’re tracking well and this will be a good challenge for us.”
“We’ve been working on styles of play and team structures so while the results are important, at the moment we’re more focused on implementing our style of play and what we want to achieve at the World Cup, so this is just the first building block on the way to the World Cup and making sure we’re perfecting it come June.”
The squad will depart from Sydney on Saturday 7 February ahead of its first match against DPR Korea on Tuesday 10 February.
Westfield Matildas Squad for International Tri Series:
Nicola BOLGER – Sydney FC – 2 (0)
Danielle BROGAN – Adelaide United – 5 (0)
Kim CARROLL – Brisbane Roar – 55 (2)
Stephanie CATLEY – Melbourne Victory – 25 (1)
Alex CHIDIAC – Adelaide United –
Hayley CRAWFORD – Newcastle Jets – 9 (2)
Larissa CRUMMER – Brisbane Roar –
Brianna DAVEY (gk) – Melbourne Victory – 13 (0)
Lisa DE VANNA – Melbourne Victory – 90 (32)
Casey DUMONT (gk) – Sydney FC –
Caitlin FOORD – Perth Glory – 22 (2)
Katrina GORRY – Brisbane Roar – 22 (8)
Amy HARRISON – Sydney FC –
Michelle HEYMAN – Canberra United – 25 (8)
Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT – Brisbane Roar – 47 (1)
Alanna KENNEDY – Perth Glory – 20 (0)
Aivi LUIK – Brisbane Roar – 15 (0)
Teresa POLIAS – Sydney FC – 3 (0)
Clare POLKINGHORNE – Brisbane Roar – 73 (3)
Hayley RASO – Brisbane Roar – 7 (1)
Kyah SIMON – Sydney FC – 41 (10)
Ashleigh SYKES – Canberra United – 6 (2)
Servet UZUNLAR – Sydney FC – 39 (2)
Emily VAN EGMOND – Newcastle Jets – 32 (7)
Women’s International Tri Series, 8-12 February 2015, Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland:
Football Ferns v Korea DPR
Sunday 8 February (Kick-Off 7.30pm local)
Korea DPR v Westfield Matildas
Tuesday 10 February (Kick-Off 3.30pm local)
Football Ferns v Westfield Matildas
Thursday 12 February (Kick-Off 7pm local)
Please note: The tri series is unable to be broadcast via television or streamed due to technical reasons.
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