Westfield Matildas squad named for training camp

Canberra United's Grace Maher has been called up to the Westfield Matildas for a training camp at the AIS.

Staff writer
Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic has named three uncapped players plus an injection of youth in a 25-player squad for a three day training camp at the AIS in Canberra beginning on Wednesday (15 February).

Canberra United’s Grace Maher, 15 year old Melbourne City FC midfielder Jacynta Galabadaarachchi and Western Sydney Wanderers FC goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman are the uncapped trio who have been selected as Stajcic begins to build and mould a squad that will take the Westfield Matildas into the next phase of major tournaments.

The squad also comprises five players who are 18 years of age or younger, with up and coming talent Ellie Carpenter joined by Alex Chidiac, Galabadaarachchi, Maher and Mathyssen-Whyman as part of an exuberant young brigade.

“We are now heading into a new four year cycle. The last cycle ended after the Rio Olympics so this is the beginning of a new cycle up until after the Tokyo Games, so we’re looking at what kind of team we can take to qualify for the major tournaments, starting with the Asian Cup next year,” said Stajcic.

Grace Maher.

“It’s about having a squad that can peak in these tournaments.”

Stajcic said players chosen for the camp were picked for their form in the Westfield W-League but also for performances at underage national level.

“For the majority it is about what they showed in the W-League but others have done well at Young Matildas camps and in the Under 17 national team, so it could have been on any major arena that we watched them play on,” said Stajcic.

“They’re players we think have the potential to be really good international footballers.

“The biggest objective of this camp and one of the major factors in the squad we’ve selected is building the depth of the team and increasing the competition within the team and giving more players the experience of being in a Matildas camp and playing senior international football.

Ellie Carpenter

The camp at the AIS will be followed by a second training camp in Sydney’s west from 20-22 February ahead of the Westfield Matildas’ participation in the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

The squad for the second training camp will be trimmed to 18-20 players, which will consist of the final squad that will travel to the Algarve Cup. German based midfield duo Elise Kellond-Knight and Emily van Egmond will join the squad in Portugal.

A focus on development and the future is also being seen amongst the Westfield Matildas’ off field staff with an emphasis on growing the depth of female coaches.

Former Matilda Heather Garriock will join current Assistant Coach Gary van Egmond in an assistant role to Stajcic for the two training camps and the Algarve Cup.

Garriock is the first of a number of aspiring female coaches that will be given the opportunity to be part of the Westfield Matildas’ coaching staff on a rotational basis.

“Heather is one of the coaches but we’ll also have Mel Andreatta and Leah Blayney to start off the process of engaging more females in our national team environment,” said Stajcic.

Heather Garriock.

“It’s a process of upskilling these high quality people with more experience at the highest level working with the top players in the country.”

“Heather is an energetic and enthusiastic person who has over 100 caps for her country and brings with her a wealth of experience. She was a really dynamic, aggressive, never say die type of personality on the field so she brings in a lot of personal characteristics but she’s also been coaching for a number of years so I’m sure she’ll add value to our setup and hopefully it will help further develop her as a coach as well.”

There are also changes among the medical staff, with Head Physiotherapist Kate Beerworth stepping aside after 10 years of service. Beerworth’s position will be filled by David Battersby, who has worked with the team for the past four years.

“Kate has been a massive contributor,” said Stajcic on Beerworth’s time with the Westfield Matildas.

Kate Beerworth.

“Her work has been selfless, tireless, there have often been voids and gaps that have needed to be filled and her work certainly expanded into other areas of the team beyond her role of just being a physio.”

“Kate probably did the workload of two or three people and she was a great contributor to the Matildas over a long period of time so we thank her for everything she did and wish her all the best for whatever the future holds.”

Beerworth will not be entirely lost to FFA as she will continue to work behind the scenes with Head of Medical Dr Mark Jones on key research projects including the ACL injury prevention program.

Westfield Matildas squad for AIS training camp 15-17 February


Date of Birth


A International Caps (Goals)

Teigen Allen 12/02/1994 Melbourne City FC

39 (0)

Mackenzie Arnold (gk) 25/02/1994 Brisbane Roar FC

11 (0)

Ellie Carpenter 28/04/2000 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

5 (0)

Steph Catley 26/01/1994 Melbourne City FC

53 (2)

Emma Checker 11/03/1996 Canberra United

3 (0)

Alex Chidiac 15/01/1999 Adelaide United

1 (0)

Caitlin Cooper 12/02/1988 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

7 (1)

Lisa De Vanna 14/11/1984 Canberra United

117 (40)

Casey Dumont (gk) 25/01/1992 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

3 (0)

Caitlin Foord 11/11/1994 Sydney FC

50 (8)

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi 6/06/2001 Melbourne City FC

Emily Gielnik 13/05/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

9 (1)

Katrina Gorry 13/08/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

49 (13)

Amy Harrison 21/04/1996 Sydney FC

3 (0)

Michelle Heyman 4/07/1988 Canberra United

53 (20)

Alanna Kennedy 21/01/1995 Sydney FC

48 (2)

Sam Kerr 10/09/1993 Perth Glory

46 (8)

Chloe Logarzo 22/12/1994 Newcastle Jets

12 (0)

Grace Maher 18/04/1999 Canberra United

Jada Mathyssen-Whyman (gk) 24/10/1999 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Clare Polkinghorne 1/02/1989 Brisbane Roar FC

92 (7)

Hayley Raso 5/09/1994 Canberra United

14 (1)

Gema Simon 19/07/1990 Newcastle Jets

5 (0)

Kyah Simon 25/06/1991 Sydney FC

70 (20)

Lydia Williams (gk) 13/05/1988 Melbourne City FC

57 (0)