Sydney FC Stars In U20’s World Cup Squad

Head Coach Leah Blayney has today named an extended squad, including shadow players, chockful of Australia’s leading emerging female footballers, as the CommBank Young Matildas commence final preparations ahead of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™.

Four of Sydney FC’s 2021-22 Premiership winning squad in Sarah Hunter, Charlie Rule, Jessika Nash and Kahli Johnson are among those named, with Tahlia Franco and Shay Hollman picked as shadow players.

23 players will travel to Mexico this Wednesday, 20 July, to participate in a 10-day pre-tournament camp which will include a closed-door match against Mexico’s U20 Women’s National Team on 26 July, with a further nine shadow players to continue training with their respective clubs.

The final 21-players that will represent Australia at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ will be chosen in late July and then travel to Costa Rica on Monday, 1 August, where they will continue their preparations, including a further closed-door match against Colombia’s U20 side ahead of the tournament.

“I’m really excited with the players the coaching staff have selected in this extended squad, as they are not only highly talented footballers but quality people,” Blayney, whose CommBank Young Matildas Assistant Coach is the experienced Rado Vidošić, current Head Coach of Liberty A-League Women’s side, Melbourne City, said.

Jessika Nash has been named in the extended squad for the U20 World Cup

“While twenty-three players will initially travel to Mexico for a pre-tournament camp, it doesn’t mean those named as shadow players won’t be considered for selection in the final squad for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.

“Due to strong competition for spots amongst the group, it will be a real challenge to select the final twenty-one, but by intent, the squad will likely be the youngest at this year’s tournament.

“With significant interruptions caused by the pandemic impacting our pathway, by design we want to fast-track the development of our best emerging footballers on the international stage, and this tournament presents the perfect opportunity to meet that objective, as we have one eye on the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027,” Blayney explained.

Australia’s place at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ was confirmed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in March of this year, after DPR Korea withdrew from the global tournament.

With the CommBank Young Matildas finishing fourth at the AFC U19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019, it meant Australia replaced DPR Korea as one of the AFC’s representatives at this event’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with Australia’s borders closed, Football Australia’s national youth teams were in hibernation for over two years and were stood-up again in March 2022.

Of the 23 players travelling to Mexico this week, sixteen were members of Australian’s U23 Representative team that recently participated in the AFF Women’s Championship 2022 in the Philippines, providing much-welcomed international and tournament exposure ahead of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™.

“Because of the pandemic, our national youth teams have been starved of international competition over recent years when compared to the rest of the world,” Blayney said. “It was a deliberate move by Football Australia to send an Under 23 representative team to the AFF Women’s Championship, to provide important training time and match minutes for a large number of footballers we had earmarked for the World Cup honours in Costa Rica.”

Shay Hollman is one of the shadow players.

Blayney was Assistant Coach of the Australian U23 Representative team in the Philippines.

“We have an exciting group of footballers coming through in both the CommBank Young and Junior Matildas’ ranks, and while we will have played a lot less football at both a domestic and international level than those we will face in Costa Rica, I’m confident that the final twenty-one we select will match or eclipse any team for desire and competitive spirit, plus deliver performances that Australian fans will be proud of,” Blayney concluded.

Running from 10 to 28 August 2022, the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup 2022™ features 16 nations drawn into four groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout stages, commencing on 20 August 2022.  

The CommBank Young Matildas are drawn in Group A, which will see them face host nation Costa Rica to open the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ at the Estadio Nacional, San Jose on 10 August 2022, following by group matches against South American champions Brazil (13 August) and UEFA’s Spain (16 August).

All of Australia’s matches for the tournament will be shown live, free and in HD on SBS and SBS On Demand with a full studio broadcast. 


NamePositionClub / Member Federation
Alexia APOSTOLAKIS Defender Football NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Naomi CHINNAMA Defender Blacktown Spartans on loan from Melbourne City FC / Football Victoria 
Jynaya DOS SANTOS Forward Football NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Kirsty FENTONDefenderNWS Koalas / Northern NSW Football
Daniela GALIC Midfielder Football NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Sheridan GALLAGHER Forward Illawarra Stingrays / Football NSW 
Katie GODDEN Forward  DePaul University / Windlesham United  
Greta KRASZULADefenderIndiana Eleven / Football NSW
Bryleeh HENRYForwardBlacktown Spartans / Football NSW
Sarah HUNTER Midfielder APIA Leichhardt on loan from Sydney FC / Football NSW 
Sally JAMES  Goalkeeper  Blacktown Spartans / Capital Football  
Kahli JOHNSONForwardManly United FC / Football NSW
Abbey LEMON Forward Blacktown Spartans / Football NSW 
Chloe LINCOLN Goalkeeper Canberra United Academy / Capital Football 
Hana LOWRY Midfielder Blacktown Spartans on loan from Perth Glory / Football West
Alana MURPHYMidfielder Blacktown Spartans / Football Victoria
Jessika NASH Defender Blacktown Spartans / Football NSW 
Jamilla RANKIN Defender Blacktown Spartans / Northern NSW Football 
Cushla RUE Defender Sydney University FC / Football NSW  
Charlize RULEDefender Sydney Olympic FC / Football NSW
Miranda TEMPLEMANGoalkeeper FV Emerging Matildas / Football West
Ella TONKIN Defender Northern Tigers / Football SA 
Paige ZOIS Midfielder Bulleen Lions on loan from Melbourne Victory / Football Victoria 

Shadow Players

NamePositionClub / Member Federation
Gemma FERRISDefenderFootball NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Tahlia FRANCOGoalkeeper Football NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Shay HOLLMANMidfielderFootball NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Alana JANCEVSKIForwardBulleen Lions / Football Victoria
Caitlin KARICForwardFV Emerging Matildas / Football Victoria
Leticia MCKENNAMidfielderBlacktown Spartans on loan from Melbourne City / Football West
Anna NORTONGoalkeeper Blacktown Spartans / Football NSW
Sienna SAVESKAMidfielderFootball NSW Institute / Football NSW 
Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNGDefender Illawarra Stingrays / Capital Football


Costa Rica v Australia 
Date: Wednesday, 10 August 2022 (local)/ Thursday, 11 August 2022
Venue: Estadio Nacional, San Jose
Kick-Off: 8:00 pm CST (local)/ 12:00pm AEST 
Broadcast: SBS Australia

Brazil v Australia
Date: Saturday, 13 August 2022 (local)/ Sunday, 14 August 2022
Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela
Kick-Off: 2:00 pm CST (local)/ 6:00am AEST
Broadcast: SBS Australia

Australia v Spain
Date: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 (local)/ Wednesday, 17 August 2022
Venue: Morera Soto, Alajuela
Kick-Off: 8:00 pm CST (local)/ 12:00pm AEST
Broadcast: SBS Australia