Matildas interim boss Ante Milicic says the leadership qualities of Sam Kerr and Steph Catley made the choice to appoint the duo as new captain and vice captain an easy one.
Kerr and Catley, both 25, will take on leadership responsibilities starting from the inaugural Cup Of Nations, which kicks off in Sydney on Thursday.
Perth Glory and Chicago Red Stars striker Kerr will also where the armband at the Women’s World Cup, to be played in France.
“We had four great training sessions and several team and individual meetings while we were in Brisbane, and to me their (Kerr and Catley) qualities as leaders of this group stood out,” Milicic explained.
“With any honour comes responsibility, however I trust that Sam and Steph as well as the other leaders in our squad are ready to grasp the opportunity to push this team to a new level.”
The national captaincy is just another milestone for Kerr, who has fast become one of the most recognisable athletes in Australian sport.
“It is a tremendous honour to have been recognised by Ante (Milicic) and the staff as captain of the Matildas,” she said.
“Ante gave a great speech about what it means to play for Australia to the team yesterday and at the end of it surprised us with the announcement.
🇪🇦 UNMOVED! 🇪🇦
Diego Castro still tops our Player of the Year leaderboard after Round 20.
— Daily Football Show (@DFS_AUS) February 26, 2019
“Together with Steph and the team we are committed to excelling at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and there will be no bigger honour than to wear the armband in France.”
Kerr has 72 Matildas caps to her name, while Catley is not far behind on 69.
The Matildas will open their Cup Of Nations campaign at the rearranged venue of Leichhardt Oval against New Zealand before taking on South Korea and Argentina in Brisbane and Melbourne.
At the World Cup, the Matildas will face Brazil, Italy and Jamaica.