Dower Reflects On “Depth Of Talent” In Junior Matildas Squad


Impetus hears from Junior Matildas head coach Rae Dower as the squad for the AFF U18s Championship is announced and Ben Gilby highlights the Western Australian contingent.

Above: Junior Matildas head coach Rae Dower. Photo: AFC.

Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower has finalised her squad to compete at the AFF U18 Women’s Championship 2022 in Palembang, Indonesia.

Australia will take 28-players to face Malaysia, Myanmar, and the Philippines in Group B of the tournament commencing on 22 July 2022.

The selection of the final squad for this tournament follows four camps over the past six months, involving more than sixty players, with a further six players promoted up and in contention for selection in the Young Matildas squad for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup 2022.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to travel to Indonesia to participate in the AFF U18 Women’s Championship, which will be the CommBank Junior Matildas’ first competitive matches since September 2019,” Dower said. 

This tournament will be the Junior Matildas’ first international activity since their involvement in the 2019 AFC U16 Women’s Championship where they finished fourth in the tournament three years ago. It also marks the final Australian Women’s National Team to re-commence international action. 

Above: Ella Abdul Massih, who played A-League Women football for Western Sydney Wanderers last season and is part of the Junior Matildas squad named today. Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers.

“As a coaching unit, we’re delighted with the depth of talent within this age group. The technical quality and game awareness of the players was of a very high standard, and they’ve maintained that level when back with their respective clubs, which presented a welcomed headache when selecting the final squad.”

Rae Dower, Junior Matildas Head Coach.

Football Australia’s commitment to the national youth teams has seen the appointment of additional staff to the Junior Matildas’ support and technical ranks over recent months, with this AFF tournament being their first overseas tournament as members of the National Teams Program.

“This AFF U18 Women’s Championship gives all but four players their first experience in travelling overseas, which in itself is a great life lesson. Combining that with being in a full-time football environment, with the heat and humidity of Indonesia, it will provide the players with invaluable insight into what to expect in the future when competing in tournaments and qualifying through the AFC pathways,” Dower explained.

“I would like to acknowledge the collaboration between Football Australia and the coaching and support staff at both Member Federations and clubs for their tireless work in preparing this age group for Australian honours, and I have no doubt this group of footballers will do everyone proud in Indonesia,” Rae Dower concluded.

Above: Georgia Cassidy – the Hyundai NTC player is in great form in the NPLW WA this season. Photo: Football West.

Among the squad are two outstanding talents of Western Australian football. Zara Board has played regularly in goal for Subiaco this season in the NPLW WA. Her distribution is consistently impressive as is her command of the box for one so young.

Hyundai NTC prospect Georgia Cassidy has been part of a hugely promising side in the NPLW WA this season. The NTC are playing a highly technical brand of rapid pass and move, which has seen Cassidy at the forefront of some impressive performances this season. Her team-mate Tanika Lala, an outstanding player with pace, power and goals can also be regarded as a potential future member of Matildas age group squads.


NamePositionClub / Member Federation
Ella ABDUL MASSIHDefenderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Isabella ACCARDODefenderFootball Victoria NTC / Football Victoria
Josie ALLANForwardNewcastle Jets / Northern NSW Football
Tegan BERTOLISSIODefenderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Zara BOARDGoalkeeperSubiaco AFC / Football West
India BREIERForwardNSW Institute / Football NSW
Daisy BROWNForwardFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Georgia CASSIDYMidfielderHyundai NTC / Football West
Alana CORTELLINOForwardFootball Victoria NTC / Football Victoria
Leah DE OLIVEIRAForwardNSW Institute / Football NSW
Jonti FISHERMidfielderFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Tahlia FRANCOGoalkeeperNSW Institute / Football NSW
Charlie GIBSONDefenderFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Erin GORDONDefenderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Aimee HALLGoalkeeperNSW Institute / Football NSW
Shay HOLLMANMidfielderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Zoe KARIPIDISDefenderNewcastle Jets / Northern NSW Football
Maya LOBOMidfielderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Megan MIFSUDDefenderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Silver Bell MORRISDefenderFootball Victoria NTC / Football Victoria
Ella O’GRADYForwardFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Avaani PRAKASHMidfielderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Sienna SAVESKAForwardNSW Institute / Football NSW
Mary STANIC-FLOODYMidfielderNSW Institute / Football NSW
Peta TRIMISForwardNSW Institute / Football NSW
Chloe WALANDOUWDefenderNewcastle Jets / Northern NSW Football
Grace WILSONGoalkeeperSA NTC / Football South Australia
Adelaide WYRZYNSKIForwardNSW Institute / Football NSW

Shadow Players

NamePositionClub / Member Federation
Lily BARBERMidfielderSA NTC / Football South Australia
Margaret BARRETTForwardFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Jasmine BLACKGoalkeeperNSW Institute / Football NSW
Aleeah DAVERNMidfielderFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Ellen GETTForwardFootball Queensland-QAS / Football Queensland
Claire SCARPINForwardSA NTC / Football South Australia
Hayley WELLINGTONDefenderSA NTC / Football South Australia

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