Tony Gustavsson has urged Australia to look to the future as the Matildas’ attention turns from their FIFA Women’s World Cup performance towards crunch Olympic qualifiers.
The Matildas are set for their first games in Australia since reaching the World Cup semi-final, taking on Iran, the Philippines and Taiwan in Perth in the first step towards qualification for Paris 2024.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Matildas players celebrate the wedding of striker Emily Gielnik.
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Hometown hero and captain Sam Kerr headlines a strong squad which is boosted by the addition of 21-year-old midfielder Amy Sayer, who plies her trade in Sweden.
Injuries have prevented Aivi Luik and Kyah Simon from receiving call-ups.
Brighton’s versatile Charlize Rule has been brought into the squad as a train-on player.
The Matildas’ pre-game huddle ahead of the match against England. Credit: Getty Images
“While we have had some time to reflect on the impact of this remarkable team on and off the pitch, the special trait of this group is that they are always looking to embrace the next challenge and that is now qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Gustavsson said.
“With just over 285 days to go until that opening kick-off in France, we have called up players that we know are ready to take us forward to the next phase of qualifying.
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“We are excited about the next chapter and continuing to build on the legacy for this team.”
The Iran and Taiwan matches, which will be held at Perth’s HBF Park, have already sold out, while Football Australia said 50,000 tickets had been sold for the Philippines clash at Optus Stadium.
Australia will hope to top their group before progressing to the final stage of Olympic qualification in February next year.
AUSTRALIA SQUAD FOR OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS
Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Teagan Micah, Lydia Williams.
Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Charlotte Grant, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Courtney Nevin, Clare Polkinghorne, Charlize Rule.
Midfielders: Alex Chidiac, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Katrina Gorry, Emily van Egmond, Amy Sayer, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop.
Forwards: Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso, Cortnee Vine.
October 26: Australia vs Iran (HBF Park, Perth)
October 29: Australia vs Philippines (Optus Stadium, Perth)
November 1: Australia vs Taiwan (HBF Park, Perth)
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