Three players from Sydney FC's Westfeld W-League 2015/16 squad have been selected in the Westfield Matildas team for two friendly matches against New Zealand in June.
Teigen Allen, Alanna Kennedy and Kyah Simon have all been called up by Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic, as preparations for the Rio Games step up with a 20-player squad chosen for the farewell series against New Zealand next month.
The squad announced today includes eight of the Westfield Matildas’ overseas-based stars who return for the upcoming internationals against New Zealand.
Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Kyah Simon, Emily van Egmond and Lydia Williams are a just some of the big names that will fly back from their overseas clubs to be available for the Westfield Matildas’ official farewell matches in Ballarat (4 June) and Melbourne (7 June) ahead of the Rio Games.
Teams competing in the Rio women’s football tournament can only name squads of 18 players (which includes two goalkeepers) giving Stajcic some tough selection decisions to make over the next month.
“This squad (for the matches against New Zealand) will obviously contain a lot of the players that will head to Rio but it’s certainly not 100 per cent finalised yet,” said Stajcic.
“There’s still a chance for players to put their hand up and again we’re trying to increase the depth of the team so we can be as competitive as we can internally and on the international stage as well.”
Sydney FC defender Teigen Allen is the only player named in the squad who was not part of the Westfield Matildas’ successful AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 qualifiers in Japan back in March, the 22 year olds last appearance for the Westfield Matildas coming back in 2014.
“Teigen has certainly improved over the last 12 months so she’s starting to get back to the standard she was at a few years ago which is pleasing, so this is a chance for her and now it’s up to her to take it with both hands,” said Stajcic.
One key player missing is Samantha Kerr, the dynamic forward still on the comeback from injury that kept her out of the qualifiers.
“Sam Kerr had a minor bit of surgery two weeks ago and hopefully she’ll be returning to playing in the next few weeks,” said Stajcic.
“Time is getting tight for her, but if everything goes well she’ll definitely be in contention for one of the spots.”
Stajcic knows the camp, which will be based in Ballarat from 30 May until 6 June and will include the two matches against the Football Ferns, will be invaluable to the team’s Rio preparations.
“This is actually the only time we’ll be together as a full squad prior to arriving in Brazil so I’m really happy to have the whole squad together and it makes this camp even more precious and the two matches against a quality opponent even more important,” said Stajcic.
“Being the only two matches we play before we head over to Brazil, these two hit outs against New Zealand are extremely important. We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a world class opponent on our door step and we’re thankful they are coming over for the two matches.”
The Westfield Matildas are scheduled to depart for Brazil on 5 July ahead of their opening match of the Rio Games against Canada on 3 August 2016
Westfield Matildas squad for international matches against New Zealand:
Teigen Allen - 12/02/1994 - Defender - 37 (0)
Laura Alleway - 28/11/1989 - Defender - 43 (2)
Mackenzie Arnold (gk) - 25/02/1994 - Goalkeeper - 9 (0)
Tameka Butt - 16/06/1991 - Midfielder - 54 (7)
Ellie Carpenter - 28/04/2000 - Defender - 2 (0)
Stephanie Catley - 26/01/1994 - Defender - 47 (2)
Caitlin Cooper - 12/02/1988 - Defender - 5 (1)
Larissa Crummer - 10/01/1996 - Forward - 9 (1)
Lisa De Vanna - 14/11/1984 - Forward - 110 (38)
Casey Dumont (gk) - 25/01/1992 - Goalkeeper - 1 (0)
Caitlin Foord - 11/11/1994 - Midfielder - 43 (5)
Katrina Gorry - 13/08/1992 - Midfielder - 42 (13)
Michelle Heyman - 4/07/1988 - Forward - 46 (18)
Elise Kellond-Knight - 10/08/1990 - Midfielder - 69 (1)
Alanna Kennedy - 21/01/1995 - Defender - 41 (1)
Chloe Logarzo - 22/12/1994 - Midfielder - 6 (0)
Clare Polkinghorne - 1/02/1989 - Defender - 85 (6)
Kyah Simon - 25/06/1991 - Forward - 63 (19)
Emily van Egmond - 12/07/1993 - Midfielder - 52 (14)
Lydia Williams (gk) - 13/05/1988 - Goalkeeper - 52 (0)
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