Westfield Matildas name World Cup squad

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic today named the 23-player squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™ Canada which will be held from 6 June to 5 July.

The squad announcement follows an intense four-month preparation in Australia and Europe as the Westfield Matildas look towards their opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup against world number two ranked USA on Tuesday 8 June (Wednesday 9 June AEST).

The squad comprises:

  • 18 members of the Westfield Matildas squad that finished runners-up at last year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014 (Alleway, Bolger, Butt, Catley, De Vanna, Foord, Gorry, Heyman, Kellond-Knight, Kennedy, Kerr, Khamis, Polias, Polkinghorne, Raso, Sykes, van Egmond, Williams)
  • 1 player heading to her fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup (Barbieri)
  • 3 players heading to their third FIFA Women’s World Cup (De Vanna, Polkinghorne, Williams)
  • 10 players heading to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup (Arnold, Bolger, Catley, Crummer, Gorry, Heyman, Kennedy, Polias, Raso, Sykes)
  • An average age of 23

Since his appointment, Stajcic’s intent has been for the Westfield Matildas to develop an exciting, attacking style of football for the Women’s World Cup, and he believes this team is capable of taking those qualities onto the biggest stage in women’s football.

“We have selected a positive squad with players that have a strong belief that they can go into any game and win,” said Stajcic.

“Over the course of the last four months the composition of this final squad has changed every week, but as always I believe ‘players pick themselves’ and the 23 players that have been selected thoroughly deserve to be in this squad and I am confident they will represent their country with distinction.

“The emphasis since we came together in January has been on expressing our Australian culture and the things this country is renowned to bring to any sporting contest, things like positivity, backing yourself and really taking it up to the opposition.

“We want to pride ourselves on a lot of these attributes that Australian teams have had for a long time, so it is about having that focus in this team and a belief that on any given day against any opponent we can come out and win.

“Considering the other teams we have in our group, it brings this philosophy into even sharper focus.”

Stajcic has named a 32-player squad for a January training camp.

The Westfield Matildas showed during their recent European tour the wealth of creative and attacking options Stajcic has at his disposal, which includes recently crowned Julie Dolan Medallist Emily van Egmond.

Add in the likes of reigning Asian Female Player of the Year Katrina Gorry among a host of others and Stajcic knows it is a squad that can trouble any team and is more than capable of progressing from a tough group that consists of the number two ranked (USA) and fifth ranked (Sweden) countries in the world as well as the 2014 African Women’s Champions (Nigeria).

“Going on from our philosophy and style of play, it’s a dynamic, mobile team that can attack and score goals,” said Stajcic.

“It is a team that has lots of variations in attack so I believe we can cause a threat to any team in the world, and the players that were picked were certainly picked with that in mind.

“Whether it’s keeping possession and playing out from the back and controlling the tempo, to the fire power we have up front, we are confident we have all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that go into producing the mindset we need when we take the pitch.”

The Westfield Matildas come together after their win over Finland.

Australia had the second youngest squad at the last Women’s World Cup in Germany four years ago, and will go into the 2015 tournament with a blend of youth and experience.

Having last represented the Westfield Matildas in 2012, Barbieri will head into her fourth World Cup at the age of 35, while Queensland forward Larissa Crummer is the youngest member of the squad at 19 years of age.

Barbieri is one of the three goalkeepers alongside Lydia Williams and Perth based Mackenzie Arnold, who was named Westfield W-League 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year at last night’s Awards.

Tameka Butt, Samantha Kerr, Leena Khamis, Kyah Simon and Williams all made the cut after overcoming injuries, Williams and Khamis having both recovered from their second knee reconstructions.

“We now have our World Cup squad finalised, and now it is left with this group to carry the torch into taking on the world’s best,” said Stajcic.

“While it is a credit to the girls that have made it, we have achieved nothing yet as a team and there is still a lot of hard work to be done to achieve our potential.”

The announcement of the captain will be made at a special function for the Westfield Matildas being hosted by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on Monday 18 May 2015.

Westfield Matildas –  FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™   squad

Number

Name

Date of Birth

Position

Club

A International Caps (Goals)

1

Lydia Williams (gk)

13/05/1988

Goalkeeper

Washington Spirit

40 (0)

2

Larissa Crummer

10/01/1996

Forward

Brisbane Roar

4 (1)

3

Ashleigh Sykes

15/12/1991

Midfielder

Canberra United

12 (4)

4

Clare Polkinghorne

1/02/1989

Defender

Brisbane Roar

78 (5)

5

Laura Alleway

28/11/1989

Defender

Brisbane Roar

30 (1)

6

Servet Uzunlar

8/03/1989

Defender

Sydney FC

45 (2)

7

Steph Catley

26/01/1994

Defender

Melbourne Victory

32 (1)

8

Elise Kellond-Knight

10/08/1990

Defender

Brisbane Roar

55 (1)

9

Caitlin Foord

11/11/1994

Forward

Perth Glory

28 (3)

10

Emily van Egmond

12/07/1993

Midfielder

Newcastle Jets

39 (10)

11

Lisa De Vanna

14/11/1984

Forward

Melbourne Victory

97 (33)

12

Leena Khamis

19/06/1986

Midfielder

Sydney FC

23 (5)

13

Tameka Butt

16/06/1991

Midfielder

Brisbane Roar

45 (6)

14

Alanna Kennedy

21/01/1995

Midfielder

Perth Glory

27 (0)

15

Teresa Polias

16/05/1990

Midfielder

Sydney FC

8 (0)

16

Hayley Raso

5/09/1994

Midfielder

Brisbane Roar

12 (1)

17

Kyah Simon

25/06/1991

Forward

Sydney FC

49 (10)

18

Melissa Barbieri (gk)

20/01/1980

Goalkeeper

Adelaide United

84 (0)

19

Katrina Gorry

13/08/1992

Midfielder

Brisbane Roar

29 (10)

20

Samantha Kerr

10/09/1993

Forward

Perth Glory

36 (5)

21

Mackenzie Arnold (gk)

25/02/1994

Goalkeeper

Perth Glory

6 (0)

22

Nicola Bolger

3/03/1993

Midfielder

Sydney FC

5 (0)

23

Michelle Heyman

4/07/1988

Forward

Canberra United

33 (11)

Westfield Matildas FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Canada – Group Matches

USA v Westfield Matildas

Monday 8 June 2015

Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg (Kick-Off 6.30pm local, 9.30am AEST Thursday 9 June)

Westfield Matildas v Nigeria

Friday 12 June 2015

Winnipeg Stadium, Winnipeg (Kick-Off 4.00pm local, 7.00am AEST Saturday 13 June)

Westfield Matildas v Sweden

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (Kick-Off 6.00pm local, 10.00am AEST Wednesday 17 June)

All matches from the  FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™  will be live on SBS ONE, SBS HD and online, with the only exceptions being the concurrent group stage matches which will be streamed live online at  www.sbs.com.au/theworldgame .