Five Perth Glory stars have been included in the latest Westfield Matildas squad for an intensive six-week European tour as part of the preparations for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Football West News/Football Federation Australia
And in further good news for WA football is the impending return to fitness of Samantha Kerr, who will join the squad for the second part of the tour following her recovery from a knee injury.
The tour will include a training camp in Italy and participation in the Cyprus Cup.
Glory goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and teammates Alanna Kennedy, Collette McCallum, Caitlin Foord and Kate Gill have been included in coach Alen Stajcic’s 22-player squad, which departs for Cyprus tonight. WA’s Lisa De Vanna ia also in the squad.
The latest squad comprises 17 players who were part of the recent international tri series in New Zealand, with the additions of Laura Alleway, Gema Simon, Gill and McCallum– a quartet with a combined 188 international matches between them – who have all overcome injury to be selected.
Premiership winning Perth Glory goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold has also been named in place of Casey Dumont, who is set to be sidelined for up to 12 months after rupturing her anterior cruciate ligament while making her Westfield Matildas debut against New Zealand.
Stajcic also revealed that talented trio Tameka Butt, goalkeeper Lydia Williams and Kerr, who are all on the comeback from injury, plus an additional three players will join the squad in Italy for the second part of the tour after the Cyprus Cup.
While the European tour is a major part of the Westfield Matildas’ lead up to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 match against the USA on June 8, Stajcic reiterated that players who missed out on selection were not out of contention for the World Cup squad.
“Some players such as Kate Gill, Collette McCallum and Laura Alleway are returning from injury and this is a good opportunity to look at some of those players who didn’t travel to New Zealand,” Stajcic said.
“Certainly the majority of the positions are still up in the air so we’ve got a good six week tour in front of us and we’re confident we’ll know most of the squad for the World Cup by the end of it. In saying that, the door is certainly open to others who aren’t in this squad making it on the plane to Canada.”
The Westfield Matildas’ opening match of the Cyprus Cup 2015 is against the Netherlands on Wednesday March 4, followed by matches against their other Group B opponents England and Finland, before another guaranteed match on the tournament’s Finals Day on March 11.
Following the Cyprus Cup, the squad will set up base in Italy for a host of training sessions as well as other international friendly matches which will be announced soon.
“This tour gives us a great opportunity to catch up to the rest of the pack in the world by spending an extended period of time together and playing a number of quality international matches that will be invaluable as we continue to work on our structure and the way we want to play when we get to Canada,” Stajcic said.
The Cyprus Cup is a global invitational tournament held annually in Cyprus since 2008. For more information about the tournament including a full list of fixtures, visit www.cypruswomenscup.net.
Squad: Laura Alleway (Brisbane Roar); Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory); Nicola Bolger (Sydney); Steph Catley (Melbourne Victory); Larissa Crummer (Brisbane Roar); Brianna Davey (Melbourne Victory); Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne Victory); Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory); Kate Gill (Perth Glory); Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar); Michelle Heyman (Canberra United); Elise Kellond-Knight (Brisbane Roar); Alanna Kennedy (Perth Glory); Collette McCallum (Perth Glory); Teresa Polias (Sydney); Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar); Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar); Gema Simon (Melbourne Victory); Kyah Simon (Sydney); Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United); Servet Uzunlar (Sydney); Emily van-Egmond (Newcastle Jets).
– with Football Federation Australia