Impetus’ Ben Gilby heard from Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson as he announced his squad for the upcoming friendlies with New Zealand and Katrina Gorry who makes her long-awaited return to the Matildas squad (29/3/22).
Above: Tony Gustavsson announces his squad to the media today. Photo: Football Australia.
Australia Head Coach Tony Gustavsson has named a 23-player squad for April’s fixtures against Women’s World Cup co-host New Zealand in Townsville and Canberra.
Australia will take on the Football Ferns at QCB Stadium in Townsville on Friday, 8 April in a historic match in North Queensland. Four days later they will return to Canberra for the first time in nine years with a clash at GIO Stadium on Tuesday, 12 April.
The squad consists of 22 players who contested the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup with the addition of experienced midfielder Katrina Gorry. Gorry returns to the national team following the birth of her first child in 2021 with the 29-year-old putting in stellar performances in her comeback season.
Speaking about her return to the squad, Gorry said: “I can’t wait to be back with the girls, it’s been a long time. It’s a massive honour. I was disappointed that I couldn’t go to India with the team for the Asia Cup, but (baby) Harper’s safety was the most important thing here.
“When I took a step away to have Harper, I didn’t know if I would return. But I’ve fallen back in love with the game and I think that shows in my performances. I’m looking forward to Harper meeting all the team and for her to have the opportunity to look up to so many amazing women.”
The 29-year-old midfielder emphasized how becoming a mother has helped to keep her to keep football in perspective. “It’s different now as when I come off a loss or win, I get to go home to her and be a mother, which makes things different and good. Tony has been amazing, he stayed in touch through my pregnancy. I’m grateful for him supporting me on my journey.”
Looking ahead to the gams against New Zealand, Gorry said: “Everyone knows they are competitive and a tough team. Most of their players are at professional clubs or big clubs.”
Australia’s squad for the two fixtures features a host of senior Matildas led by captain Sam Kerr and vice-captain Steph Catley. Nine Queenslanders will have their first chance to play in their home state since 2019 and Canberra native Lydia Williams makes the return home.
Meanwhile, recently crowned 2022 A-League Women’s Champions, Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin, have also made the final roster following Melbourne Victory’s back-to-back championship win. A-League Women’s Premiers Sydney FC are represented by forwards Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine.
Gustavsson expressed the importance of the April FIFA Window as it signifies the start of the 16-month preparation for the World Cup.
“We are all really excited to come back together as a team and return to the pitch again on home soil,” Gustavsson said. “It’s been a long two months since the group was in assembly, but we have used that time effectively to undertake an in-depth technical review similar to the one conducted following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“With two major tournaments in the last 12 months, this April window gives us an opportunity to start the process of implementing the lessons learned over that timeframe. With only the World Cup on the horizon, the New Zealand series will be the first step towards the tournament.”
“Over the past year we have had a close look at over 75 players in high-performance environments but as we focus in on the World Cuo preparation, it is essential for us to start zeroing in on our best combinations and providing them time together.”
Players and staff will commence arrival into camp on Monday with Australian-based players entering first and European and American-based players following the completion of this weekend’s league fixtures.
Since meeting in Australia’s first women’s “A” international match in 1979, Australia and New Zealand have faced each other 48 times in their history with the Matildas leading the head to head 31-8-9.
|Mackenzie ARNOLD||Goalkeeper||West Ham United||28 (0)|
|Ellie CARPENTER||Back||Olympique Lyon||57 (3)|
|Steph CATLEY||Back||Arsenal WFC||100 (3)|
|Kyra COONEY-CROSS||Midfielder||Melbourne Victory||16 (0)|
|Caitlin FOORD||Forward||Arsenal WFC||99 (22)|
|Mary FOWLER||Forward||Montpellier||24 (7)|
|Emily GIELNIK||Forward||Aston Villa||52 (11)|
|Katrina GORRY||Midfielder||Brisbane Roar / Vittsjö GIK||78 (15)|
|Charlotte GRANT||Back||FC Rosengård||4 (0)|
|Alanna KENNEDY||Back||Manchester City||105 (8)|
|Sam KERR||Forward||Chelsea WFC||108 (49)|
|Aivi LUIK||Back||Pomigliano||35 (1)|
|Teagan MICAH||Goalkeeper||FC Rosengård||9 (0)|
|Courtney NEVIN||Back||Melbourne Victory||10 (0)|
|Clare POLKINGHORNE||Back||Vittsjö GIK||141 (12)|
|Hayley RASO||Forward||Manchester City||60 (8)|
|Remy SIEMSEN||Forward||Sydney FC||4 (0)|
|Kyah SIMON||Forward||Tottenham Hotspur||109 (28)|
|Emily VAN EGMOND||Midfielder||San Diego Wave||116 (28)|
|Cortnee VINE||Forward||Sydney FC||3 (0)|
|Clare WHEELER||Midfielder||Fortuna Hjørring||8 (0)|
|Lydia WILLIAMS||Goalkeeper||Arsenal WFC||97 (0)|
|Tameka YALLOP||Midfielder||West Ham United||103 (12)|
New Zealand’s Squad Announcement:
Lily Alfeld; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (0/0), Victoria Esson; SC Sand, Germany (5/0),
Erin Nayler; Umeå IK, Sweden (76/0), Liz Anton; Perth Glory FC, Australia (7/0)
Katie Bowen; North Carolina Courage, USA (80/3), Claudia Bunge; Melbourne Victory FC, Australia (7/0), Anna Green; Unattached (78/7), Meikayla Moore; Liverpool FC, England (51/3), Ali Riley; Angel City FC, USA (143/1), Rebekah Stott; Melbourne City FC, Australia (84/4), Ashleigh Ward; Actonians LFC, England (1/0), Olivia Chance; Celtic FC, Scotland (28/1), Daisy Cleverley; Unattached (19/2), Betsy Hassett; Stjarnan, Iceland (128/14), Grace Jale; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (4/2), Ria Percival; Tottenham Hotspur FC, England (160/15), Malia Steinmetz; Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Australia (5/0), Ava Collins; St John’s University, USA (4/0), Jacqui Hand; Unattached (6/1), Gabi Rennie; Arizona State University, USA (10/2), Emma Rolston; Avaldsnes IL, Norway (10/6), Paige Satchell; Sydney FC, Australia (26/2), Hannah Wilkinson; Melbourne City FC, Australia (103/26).