Above: The Young Matildas squad last year. Photo: Football Australia.
Australia’s U20 female squad will head to Werribee in Melbourne this February as the Young Matildas embark on their first training camp for 2023.
Head Coach Leah Blayney will select a 28-player squad to take part in the 10-day assembly hosted by Wyndham City Council from 13th February 2023 – 22nd February 2023.
For Blayney, it is the next crucial step in the team’s preparations for Round 1 of the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024 Qualifiers to be held in March 2023.
Conducted last year, the qualification draw has seen the Young Matildas selected in Group C alongside group hosts Kyrgyz Republic, Guam, and Iraq. The group winner will progress to Round Two, which will be played from 3rd-11th June 2023, where the four best sides will earn a spot in the Finals.
“Since we started with this new cohort of Young Matildas in October 2022, our focus has been around setting the foundations with the AFC qualification process at the forefront,” Blayney said.
“With the support of the federation, we have been able to undertake two training camps, as well as three international matches against senior women’s national teams delivering higher quality match minutes for our young players. This camp is the continuation of that process ahead of an important trip in March.
“We are grateful for the support of Wyndham City Council for the use of their top-quality facilities to enable the players and staff to have an ideal training environment for the assembly.”
With the training camp taking place during the February women’s FIFA International Window, it will also include two matches against Liberty A-League Women competition in ladder leaders Western United FC and second-placed Melbourne City FC.
“Being based in Melbourne at this time of the year, along with an ideal location and facilities that meet our high-performance needs, it provides us with access to two quality opponents as we continue to build invaluable match minutes into the playing group,” Blayney said.
“Western United and Melbourne City present an opportunity for us to really test this new contingent of CommBank Matildas. United and City are two teams who possess some exceptional older players for our youth national team to come up against as a collective in what will be a challenging trial.
“We would also like to acknowledge the collaboration with both clubs in working with us to ensure higher level games on home soil during a critical time in our preparations,” Blayney concluded.
The 28-player squad will be announced in early February ahead of the commencement of the training camp.