Above: Young Matildas players Hana Lowry of Perth Glory (left) and Western Sydney Wanderers’ Bryleeh Henry (right) line up with head coach Leah Blayney. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Football Australia.
The Young Matildas will commence their preparations for the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup with a two-match international series against the New Zealand Junior Football Ferns in Canberra.
Australia will host New Zealand in the nation’s capital on 6th April and 10th April 2022 with the internationals the first competitive match action for Leah Blayney’s team since the conclusion of the 2019 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship.
Head Coach Leah Blayney emphasised the importance of having competitive fixtures for the youth national team with the U-20 Women’s World Cup a little over five months away.
“This two-match international series against New Zealand is the first phase in ensuring the Young Matildas are best prepared for the exciting moment ahead of them in August,” Blayney said.
“We have been building together as a group for almost two years without the opportunity to test ourselves in international standard match conditions. It makes this series crucial in bringing together the players and fostering familiarity with our coaching staff and each other.”
Blayney has named a 28-player roster for the training camp and international series comprising of a combination of A-League Women’s players and players from Member Federation underpinning development programs. A majority of the squad named have been previously involved at U-17s level and in the Future Matildas program.
“The 28 players selected have been recognized for their excellent season in the A-League Women’s, as well as providing several others with a chance to display their capabilities in a high-performance environment,” Blayney said.
“I am pleased we can have an assembly that has international fixtures attached and provides the players with a clear goal over the next two weeks. We have an array of talent in our country and these home matches are an excellent platform to showcase the next generation of Australian footballers.”
Football Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, spoke of his enthusiasm about the return of the Young Matildas to the pitch.
“It is exciting for Football Australia to continue to re-launch our youth national team programs and we are pleased to secure two international matches for the Commonwealth Young Matildas following a period of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These youth representative matches build on the strong partnership we have with our Trans-Tasman neighbours, New Zealand Football, with the senior Matildas hosting New Zealand in Canberra on Friday, 12 April 2022.
“Providing our youth national teams with high-quality match minutes consistently is vital to ensure their continued development. We are committed to supporting Leah and her team over the coming months as they return to the international stage and demonstrate the quality we can look forward to in the coming years.”
Ahead of the international fixtures the Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas entered a pre-camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) today which will last until 12th April 2022.
The Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas camp and internationals in Canberra is part of the continued return of all the women’s national teams with the Junior Matildas currently undertaking a training camp and the ParaMatildas also due to commence national team activity.
Supporters can watch the Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas take on New Zealand for FREE on 6 April and 10 April 2022.
Young Matildas Squad:
Naomi CHINAMA (Melbourne City / Football Victoria), Kirsty FENTON (Newcastle Jets / NNSW Football), Gemma FERRIS (Football NSW), Daniela GALIC (Football NSW), Sheridan GALLAGHER (Western Sydney Wanderers / Football NSW), Abbey GREEN (Perth Glory / Football West), Bryleeh HENRY (Western Sydney Wanderers / Football NSW), Sarah HUNTER (Sydney FC / Football NSW), Emma ILIJOSKI (Canberra United / Capital Football), Sally JAMES (Melbourne City / Capital Football), Kahli JOHNSON (Sydney FC / Football NSW), Hannah JONES (Wellington Phoenix / Football NSW), Aideen KEANE (Perth Glory / Football NSW), Chloe LINCOLN (Canberra United / Capital Football), Hana LOWRY (Perth Glory / Football West), Darcey MALONE (Melbourne City / Football NSW), Leticia McKENNA (Melbourne City / Football West), Claudia MIHOCIC (Perth Glory / Football Victoria), Alana MURPHY (Melbourne Victory / Football Victoria), Emilia MURRAY (Adelaide United / Football SA), Jessika NASH (Sydney FC / Football NSW), Leia PUXTY (Adamstown Rosebud FC / NNSW Football), Jamilla RANKIN (Brisbane Roar / NNSW Football), Charlize RULE (Sydney FC / Football NSW), Sofia SAKALIS (Perth Glory / Football Victoria), Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG (Canberra United / Capital Football), Miranda TEMPLEMAN (Adelaide United / Football West), Ella TONKIN (Adelaide United / Football SA).