Youth movement highlights Stajcic’s squad for France and England friendlies

Youth movement highlights Stajcic’s squad for France and England friendlies

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Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic included a strong youth contingent in his 18-player Matildas squad for upcoming friendlies against France and England on Tuesday afternoon.

Uncapped 18-year-old Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Jada Whyman, 18-year-old Princess Ibini, 16-year-old Amy Sayer and 15-year-old Mary Fowler were will all travel to Europe with Stajic’s squad, with all looming as likely to see the pitch in some capacity during the two fixtures.

A star at a junior representative level, Sydney FC’s Ibini has made three previous appearances for Australia’s senior women, while Sydney FC’s Sayer and the uncontracted Fowler both made their international debuts in Australia’s recent Tournament of Nations campaign.

Jada Whyman looms as a Matildas’ debutant after her selection in Alen Stajcic’s 18-player squad

Balancing out the youth injected into the squad is the presence of veterans such Lisa De Vanna, Aivi Luik, Clare Polkinghorne and Elise Kellond-Knight; Kellond-Knight able to become just the seventh woman in Australian history to earn 100 caps for her nation should she feature in both upcoming friendlies.

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With marquee names such as Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy and Lydia Williams not named as part of the squad, Stajcic said that the upcoming friendlies and accompanying training camp will provide Australia’s next generation of Matildas a valuable learning experience.

“I am excited by the opportunity we have to develop the depth within our team during next month’s camp,” Stajcic said following the squad’s announcement.

“(I) am confident that this squad has the ability to challenge France in Saint-Etienne, and the Lionesses in London

“With some established Matildas not available for selection, our October matches will give us a great opportunity to test other players in what will be a challenging environment.

“Our next camp will also give the players, as well as our staff, the opportunity to prepare for various situations and challenges that may arise during next year’s World Cup.

“October represents an important period for the Westfield Matildas as we continue our progress towards next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as November’s home matches against Chile in Penrith and Newcastle.”

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The Matildas will meet European powerhouses France at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne on 5 October (Early 6 October Australian time) before crossing the channel to meet the Lionesses of England at London’s Craven Cottage on 9 October (Early 10 October Australian time).

The Matildas will then continue their preparations for next year’s World Cup with two friendlies against Chile in Australia; in Penrith on 10 November and Newcastle on 13 November.

The Matildas 18-player squad

Name Current Club, Country A-International Caps (Goals)
Mackenzie ARNOLD (Gk) Arna-Bjørnar Fotball, Norway 19 (0)
Tameka BUTT Klepp IL, Norway 70 (10)
Ellie CARPENTER Portland Thorns, USA 24 (1)
Steph CATLEY Melbourne City FC, Australia 67 (2)
Alex CHIDIAC Atletico Madrid, Spain 12 (1)
Larissa CRUMMER Newcastle Jets, Australia 21 (4)
Lisa DE VANNA Sydney FC, Australia 140 (45)
Caitlin FOORD Sydney FC, Australia 63 (11)
Mary FOWLER Uncontracted 1 (0)
Emily GIELNIK Melbourne Victory, Australia 20 (4)
Princess IBINI Sydney FC, Australia 3 (0)
Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT Hammarby IF, Sweden 98 (1)
Chloe LOGARZO Sydney FC, Australia 33 (5)
Aivi LUIK Levante UD, Spain 18 (0)
Jada WHYMAN (Gk) Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia 0 (0)
Clare POLKINGHORNE Houston Dash FC, USA 108 (8)
Amy SAYER Sydney FC, Australia 1 (0)
Kyah SIMON Melbourne City FC, Australia 86 (22)

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