May 12, 2015
Kerr and company in World Cup squad
Four Perth Glory Women players and WA’s Lisa De Vanna have been included in the Westfield Matildas squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 6 to July 5.
The Glory quartet of star striker Samantha Kerr, goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, defender Alanna Kennedy and midfielder Caitlin Foord, as well as Melbourne Victory forward De Vanna, are in the 23-player squad selected by coach Alen Stajcic.
The squad announcement followed an intense four-month preparation in Australia and Europe as the Westfield Matildas look toward their opening match against world number two ranked USA on Tuesday, June 8 (Wednesday, June 9 in WA).
The squad comprises:
· 18 members of the Westfield Matildas squad that finished runners-up at last year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2014 (Alleway, Bolger, Butt, Catley, De Vanna, Foord, Gorry, Heyman, Kellond-Knight, Kennedy, Kerr, Khamis, Polias, Polkinghorne, Raso, Sykes, van Egmond, Williams)
· 1 player heading to her fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup (Hudson (nee Barbieri)
· 2 players heading to their third FIFA Women’s World Cup (De Vanna, Polkinghorne)
· 9 players heading to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup (Arnold, Bolger, Catley, Crummer, Gorry, Heyman, Kennedy, Raso, Sykes)
· The squad has an average age of 23
Stajcic believes the team is capable of producing an attacking style of football on the biggest stage in women’s football.
“We have selected a positive squad with players that have a strong belief that they can go into any game and win,” Stajcic said.
“The emphasis since we came together in January has been on expressing our Australian culture and the things this country is renowned to bring to any sporting contest, things like positivity, backing yourself and really taking it up to the opposition.”
The Westfield Matildas showed during their recent European tour the wealth of creative and attacking options Stajcic has at his disposal, which includes recently crowned Julie Dolan Medallist Emily van Egmond and Asian Female Player of the Year Katrina Gorry.
Stajcic believes the squad is more than capable of progressing from a tough group consisting of the USA, fifth-ranked Sweden, and the 2014 African Women’s Champions (Nigeria).
“Whether it’s keeping possession and playing out from the back and controlling the tempo, to the fire power we have up front, we are confident we have all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that go into producing the mindset we need when we take the pitch,” Stajcic said.
The announcement of the captain will be made at a special function for the Westfield Matildas being hosted by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on Monday, May 18.
Squad: Lydia Williams (Washington Spirit, USA); Larissa Crummer (Brisbane Roar); Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United); Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar); Laura Alleyway (Brisbane Roar); Servet Uzunlar (Sydney FC); Steph Catley (Melbourne Victory); Elise Kellond-Knight (Brisbane Roar); Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory); Emily van Egmond (Newcastle Jets); Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne Victory); Leena Khamis (Sydney FC); Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar); Alanna Kennedy (Perth Glory); Teresa Polias (Sydney FC); Hayley Raso (Brisbane Roar); Kyah Simon (Sydney FC); Melissa Hudson (Adelaide United); Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar); Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory); Mackenzie Arnold (Perth Glory); Nicola Bolger (Sydney FC); Michelle Heyman (Canberra United).