Ante Milicic reveals 23-player squad for Australia’s World Cup quest

Ante Milicic reveals 23-player squad for Australia’s World Cup quest

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Lisa De Vanna, Clare Polkinghorne, and Lydia Williams are set to make history at France 2019, with the trio officially confirmed by Head Coach Ante Milicic as members of Australia’s World Cup Squad for a fourth time on Tuesday.

The triumvirate will form part of Australia’s 23-player squad in next month’s tournament, which is set to kick off for the Australian’s on 9 June against Italy at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

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Captained by Sam Kerr – who leads a high-powered attack also featuring the likes of Caitlin Foord, De Vanna and 16-year-old Mary Fowler – Australia will then subsequently meet Brazil on 13 June at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier and Jamaica at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble on 18 June.

Kerr will join teammates Laura Alleway, Caitlin Foord, Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, and Tameka Yallop in becoming three-time World Cup players in France.

Thirty-four-year-old veteran Aivi Luik – who currently plays for Levante in the Spanish League – will be amongst the players making her first appearances at a World Cup after her selection; the steady-hand doing enough to impress Milicic since his arrival in February.

Another player making her first World Cup appearance, but on the other end of her footballing journey then Luik, is teen prodigy Fowler; who Milicic also revealed will also be on the plane to France.

A much-ballyhooed prospect, there had been fears that Fowler would be lost to Ireland after the 16-year-old was withdrawn from the Matildas squad slated to clash with Chile in November of last year by her father, with then Head Coach Stajcic later labelling the Fowler family as being “alternative” in nature.

A recall to the Australian side for a recent friendly against the United States, though, showed that Fowler was still in contention for selection and standout performances with the Young Matildas have seemingly been enough to push her case for selection over the line.

Gema Simon, Chloe Logarzo, Teagan Micah, Emily Gielnik, Ellie Carpenter and Amy Harrison are others that will be making their first appearance at world football’s biggest event.

As ever in World Cup selection, however, there have been some high-profile omissions from Milicic’s squad; in this case highlighted by the absence of Kyah Simon.

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A goal scorer at both the 2011 and 2015 World Cup’s, Simon, 27, has been in a battle to prove her fitness to the Australian staff since undergoing ankle surgery in December whilst playing for W-League side Melbourne City.

Heading to America to train and continue her rehabilitation with NWSL side Houston Dash, Simon has seen sparse minutes in recent months, with a 13-minute appearance against North Carolina on 28 April.

She will, alongside Kyra Cooney-Cross, serve as a standby player for the tournament.

Alex Chidiac, Princess Ibini and goalkeeper Eliza Campbell are amongst the other players to have missed out on a prized place in the Australian squad.

“This is a special group of Australian footballers because, as a unit, they have accumulated a wealth of international experience despite the average age of the team being quite young,” Milicic said on the squad’s selection.

“Having players that have appeared at multiple World Cups in our squad will help to guide the eight players travelling to their first World Cup, and I believe we will have genuine competition for starting positions across all areas of the pitch.

”I don’t like to single out individuals, however, I would like to congratulate Lisa (De Vanna), Clare (Polkinghorne), and Lydia (Williams) for earning selection in their fourth World Cup squads.

“I am really looking forward to joining the squad in Turkey, and believe we can make significant progress before our first match is played in Valenciennes.”

Squad NumberNameClub, CountryA-International Caps (Goals)Previous FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Selections
1Lydia WILLIAMS (Gk)Seattle Reign, USA77 (0)2007, 2011, 2015
2Gema SIMONNewcastle Jets FC, Australia11 (0) 
3Aivi LUIKLevante UD, Spain21 (0) 
4Clare POLKINGHORNEHouston Dash, USA116 (9)2007, 2011, 2015
5Laura ALLEWAYMelbourne Victory, Australia60 (2)2011, 2015
6Chloe LOGARZOWashington Spirit, USA37 (6)
7Steph CATLEY (VC)Seattle Reign, USA71 (2)2015
8Elise KELLOND-KNIGHTSeattle Reign, USA106 (1)2011, 2015
9Caitlin FOORDPortland Thorns, USA71 (16)2011, 2015
10Emily VAN EGMONDOrlando Pride, USA85 (18)2011, 2015
11Lisa DE VANNASydney FC, Australia147 (47)2007, 2011, 2015
12Teagan MICAH (Gk)UCLA, USA0 (0)
13Tameka YALLOPKlepp IL, USA78 (10)2011, 2015
14Alanna KENNEDYOrlando Pride, USA77 (7)2015
15Emily GIELNIKMelbourne Victory, Australia28 (7)
16Hayley RASOPortland Thorns, USA34 (4)2015
17Mary FOWLERBankstown City Lions, Australia4 (0)
18Mackenzie ARNOLD (Gk)Brisbane Roar FC, Australia23 (0)2015
19Katrina GORRYBrisbane Roar FC, Australia73 (14)2015
20Sam KERR (C)Chicago Red Stars, USA76 (31)2011, 2015
21Ellie CARPENTERPortland Thorns, USA31 (1) 
22Amy HARRISONWashington Spirit, USA10 (0) 
23Teigen ALLENMelbourne Victory, Australia40 (0)2011

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