Matildas 18 player Rio 2016 Olympic Roster named

4 July 2016

With 30 days until Australia’s opening match for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic has named the 18 players who will participate in women’s football tournament.

The roster will not be made official until submitted with the International Olympic Committee on 18 July 2016, which is the deadline for the nomination of athletes.

“We’ve shown in the past 12 months or so that we’re a competitive team now on the world stage and it’s up to us now to prove that we can take that next step and genuinely compete for medals,” Coach Alen Stajcic said

“We are in a very tough group with Canada being the reigning bronze medallists, Germany are a powerhouse and Zimbabwe are a bit of an unknown but having come through the African qualifiers we know they will be tough, powerful and unpredictable.”

For 17 of the 18 players it will be their first participation in the Olympics with only co-captain Lisa De Vanna having previous experience.

Stajcic has kept faith with the bulk of the squad that saw Australia qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years, with only Sam Kerr and Larissa Crummer (who were both injured) making their way into the 18.

At an average age of 23.5 years it is one of Australia’s youngest squads for an international tournament.  However, with an average appearances of 46.8, it is the most experienced squad Australia has named since 2009.

“Probably for the first time in this team’s history we are leaving out players that are in good form who could genuinely play and start in this side.

“We’ve got to a point where there is a strong amount of depth in the team meaning good players miss out.”

The roster comprises:

  • 16 members of the table topping 2016 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers  (Arnold, Alleway, Butt, Carpenter, Catley, De Vanna, Foord, Gorry, Heyman, Kellond-Knight, Kennedy, Logarzo, Polkinghorne, Simon, van Egmond, Williams)
  • 16 members of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Squad (Arnold, Alleway, Butt, Catley, Crummer, De Vanna, Foord, Gorry, Heyman, Kellond-Knight, Kennedy, Kerr, Logarzo, Polkinghorne, Simon, van Egmond, Williams)
  • An average age of 23.5

The Australian based players will depart on Tuesday morning for a pre-tournament training camp to be held in Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil.  They will be joined by the international contingent – Alleway, Catley, Kellond-Knight, Kennedy and Simon – later in the week.

The Matildas will conclude their Olympic preparations with an international against hosts Brazil on 23 July 2016 in Fortaleza.

Australia is scheduled to face world no. 2 Germany, reigning Olympic bronze medallists Canada and Zimbabwe in Group F at the Rio 2016 Olympics.  The Matildas opens against Canada on 3 August at Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, followed by Germany on 6 August in São Paulo and Zimbabwe on 9 August in Salvador.

The 2016 Rio Olympic Women’s Football Tournament runs from 3 – 19 August 2016 with Australia’s matches to be broadcast on Channel 7.

2016 Matildas Olympic Roster (by position)

Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams (Houston Dash/Canberra United), Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory)

Defenders: Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Laura Alleway (Orlando Pride / Melbourne City), Alanna Kennedy (WNY Flash / Sydney FC), Stephanie Catley (Orlando Pride / Melbourne City), Ellie Carpenter (Western Sydney Wanderers)

Midfielders: Elise Kellond-Knight (Potsdam Turbine), Emily van Egmond (FFC Frankfurt), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory), Chloe Logarzo (Eskilstuna United / Newcastle Jets)

Forwards: Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne City), Michelle Heyman (Canberra United), Kyah Simon (Boston Breakers / Sydney FC), Samantha Kerr (Sky Blue FC / Perth Glory), Larissa Crummer (Melbourne City)

Alternates: Caitlin Cooper, Casey Dumont, Aivi Luik, Emily Gielnik

Matildas Schedule

Canada v Australia
Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo
Wednesday, 4 August 2016
Kick off: 4:00am (AET)

Germany v Australia
Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo
Saturday, 7 August 2016
Kick off: 7:00am (AET)

Australia v Zimbabwe 
Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador
Tuesday, 10 August 2016
Kick off: 5:00am (AET)