Alen Stajcic has named a 21-player squad for this month’s China Tour running from 19-28 October 2015.
With matches against hosts China, World No. 5 England and possibly a third team, it is the commencement of Australia’s preparations for the 2016 AFC Rio Olympics qualifiers to be held in March 2016.
“It’s a good opportunity for players who were in the World Cup squad to keep their spot but there are also some opportunities for some new players who have performed well in the W-League and in camp to try and stake a claim and show if they can play at international level,” Stajcic said.
The squad sees four new players added from the squad that represented Australia at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Amy Harrison (Sydney FC), Caitlin Cooper (WSW) and Newcastle Jets pair Georgia Yeoman-Dale and Tara Andrews’ strong performances at the training camp last week see them make the plane for China.
“Amy Harrison was the Young Matildas captain and is a very gifted and creative player so she’ll add a different dimension to us.
“Tara Andrews has been a good goal scorer and someone who can hold the ball up. She had a good season in the America second tier competition, performed really well at camp and certainly earned the right to be in this squad.
“Georgia Yeoman-Dale was probably the standout at the camp and together with Caitlin Cooper, hopefully these four players can do well in China.
Meanwhile German based duo Elise Kellond-Knight and Emily van Egmond have been added to the squad.
The timing of the tournament means several W-League teams will be without star players for up to two weeks.
“With the W-League season there aren’t many opportunities to get internationals in between, so this is our last opportunity to play some proper internationals before those critical qualifiers.
“Obviously these matches are critical. As it stands at this moment they are our last matches before we go into those Rio qualifiers,” Stajcic said.
“There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and the qualifiers, and we’ve certainly got a tough task in front of us to qualify.”
Meanwhile former Socceroo Gary van Egmond – father of Emily van Egmond – has been named as the replacement assistant coach after Ross Aloisi’s departure.
Matildas squad – China Tour
|Name||Date of Birth||Position||Club||A International Caps (Goals)|
|Laura Alleway||28/11/1989||Defender||Melbourne City FC||36 (2)|
|Tara Andrews||13/03/1994||Forward||Newcastle Jets||–|
|Mackenzie Arnold (gk)||25/02/1994||Goalkeeper||Perth Glory||7 (0)|
|Tameka Butt||16/06/1991||Midfielder||Brisbane Roar||49 (6)|
|Steph Catley||26/01/1994||Defender||Melbourne City FC||39 (2)|
|Caitlin Cooper||12/02/1988||Defender||Western Sydney Wanderers FC||2 (1)|
|Larissa Crummer||10/01/1996||Forward||Melbourne City FC||7 (1)|
|Lisa De Vanna||14/11/1984||Forward||Melbourne City FC||104 (37)|
|Caitlin Foord||11/11/1994||Forward||Perth Glory||35 (5)|
|Katrina Gorry||13/08/1992||Midfielder||Brisbane Roar||35 (11)|
|Amy Harrison||21/04/1996||Midfielder||Sydney FC||1 (0)|
|Michelle Heyman||4/07/1988||Forward||Canberra United||40 (15)|
|Elise Kellond-Knight||10/08/1990||Defender||Potsdam FC (Germany)||62 (1)|
|Alanna Kennedy||21/01/1995||Midfielder||Sydney FC||34 (0)|
|Samantha Kerr||10/09/1993||Forward||Perth Glory||42 (7)|
|Clare Polkinghorne||1/02/1989||Defender||Brisbane Roar||79 (5)|
|Hayley Raso||5/09/1994||Midfielder||Melbourne Victory||13 (1)|
|Kyah Simon||25/06/1991||Forward||Sydney FC||57 (14)|
|Emily van Egmond||12/07/1993||Midfielder||FFC Frankfurt (Germany)||44 (11)|
|Lydia Williams (gk)||13/05/1988||Goalkeeper||Canberra United||46 (0)|
|Georgia Yeoman-Dale||24/02/1994||Midfielder||Newcastle Jets||2 (0)|