Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic today confirmed his final 23-player squad for next month’s 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan, plus next Monday’s international friendly match against Thailand at nib Stadium in Perth.
The Westfield Matildas will commence a two-week preparatory camp in Western Australia later today as they sharpen their focus towards Jordan 2018 – a tournament which will also serve as Asia’s qualification process for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in France.
Recently the Westfield Matildas finished fourth at the 12-team Algarve Cup in Portugal despite missing numerous key players due to injury. Positively, Kyah Simon, Emily Gielnik, Steph Catley, and Hayley Raso have each been included by Stajcic in his final 23 despite missing out on either traveling to, or playing match minutes in, Portugal.
While the Westfield Matildas will need to overcome some stern opposition in Jordan if they are to lift the AFC Women’s Asian Cup trophy for the second time in their history, the team should enter the tournament with the utmost belief given the international experience and know-how at their disposal. Indeed, Stajcic’s 23-player squad currently has 1,108 ‘A’ international caps between them, at an average of just over 48 caps per player.
Stajcic is looking forward to the upcoming tournament and believes the players are focussed on the challenge ahead.
“The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is the major tournament on our calendar this year and will also be serving as a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier so there is plenty at stake,” said Stajcic
“The players have set themselves specific goals for the Asian Cup which is one of the three major international tournaments along with the FIFA Women’s World Cup & Olympics.
“We have a good fortnight in Perth before we head to Jordan which allows us to prepare for the tournament in ideal conditions.
“Looking to the tournament, we certainly do not underestimate any of our opposition. The Korea Republic have made great improvements in recent times and Japan are the defending champions so there will be definitely no complacency on our part.
“We are also all looking forward to playing our first ever match in Perth against Thailand which should be a good challenge and will allow us to see how we are tracking leading into the tournament,” concluded Stajcic.
The Westfield Matildas will play Japan, Korea Republic and Vietnam in Group B of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. The top five teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the top two teams in each group will advance to the semi-final stage.
An important part of the Westfield Matildas’ preparation for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will occur next Monday when the team hosts Thailand in Perth. The match will go down in history as the Westfield Matildas’ debut match in Western Australia.
The Western Australian State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is a major supporter of the Westfield Matildas stay in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.
Tickets to the fixture, which start at $10 for children and $20 for adults, are on sale now. The match will also be shown live on FOX SPORTS and SBS VICELAND.
The 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will be held in Amman, Jordan between 6 to 20 April.
Westfield Matildas squad for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan
|Shirt Number||Name||Club/Country||A-International Caps (Goals)|
|1.||Lydia WILLIAMS (gk)||Melbourne City FC, Australia / Seattle Reign, USA||65 (0)|
|2.||Caitlin COOPER||Sydney FC, Australia||9 (2)|
|3.||Aivi LUIK||Melbourne City FC, Australia||16 (0)|
|4.||Clare POLKINGHORNE||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia||101 (8)|
|5.||Laura ALLEWAY||Melbourne Victory, Australia||52 (2)|
|6.||Chloe LOGARZO||Sydney FC, Australia||24 (3)|
|7.||Steph CATLEY||Melbourne City FC, Australia / Seattle Reign, USA||63 (2)|
|8.||Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT||Uncontracted||90 (1)|
|9.||Alex CHIDIAC||Adelaide United, Australia||7 (0)|
|10.||Emily VAN EGMOND||Newcastle Jets, Australia / Orlando Pride, USA||69 (14)|
|11.||Lisa DE VANNA||Sydney FC, Australia||132 (43)|
|12.||Casey DUMONT (gk)||Melbourne Victory, Australia||3 (0)|
|13.||Tameka BUTT||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Klepp IL, Norway||64 (9)|
|14.||Alanna KENNEDY||Melbourne City FC, Australia / Orlando Pride, USA||63 (3)|
|15.||Emily GIELNIK||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia||15 (4)|
|16.||Hayley RASO||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Portland Thorns, USA||22 (1)|
|17.||Kyah SIMON||Melbourne City FC, Australia / Houston Dash, USA||78 (22)|
|18.||Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk)||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Arna Bjornar FC, Norway||17 (0)|
|19.||Katrina GORRY||Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Utah Royals, USA||63 (14)|
|20.||Samantha KERR||Perth Glory, Australia / Chicago Red Stars, USA||61 (21)|
|21.||Ellie CARPENTER||Canberra United, Australia / Portland Thorns, USA||16 (1)|
|22.||Larissa CRUMMER||Melbourne City FC, Australia||19 (3)|
|23.||Michelle HEYMAN||Canberra United, Australia||59 (20)|