Seven Brisbane Roar players will have the honour of representing Australia at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup with Laura Alleway, Tameka Butt, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Clare Polkinghorne, Larissa Crummer and Hayley Raso named in Head Coach Alen Stajcic’s 23-player squad for Canada 2015.
Almost 12 months after current club captain Matt McKay and then-Roar right-back Ivan Franjic played for the Australia at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and two months after Luke DeVere made his Socceroos debut against world champions Germany, the Queensland club is again well represented on the world stage, making up almost a third of the Matildas squad.
Roar goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who has played for Brisbane in the last two Westfield W-League seasons, has also been named in Germany's provisional 27-player squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup. The German squad will be cut to 23 on Sunday, 24 May.
The tournament will be Roar W-League skipper Polkinghorne’s third FIFA Women’s World Cup while Canada 2015 marks a second campaign for left-sided utility Kellond-Knight, central defender Alleway and midfielder Butt. In 2011, Kellond-Knight was named as a defender in the FIFA All Star team.
Midfielder Gorry, the reigning AFC Women’s Player of the Year, Gold Coast-born winger Raso and the squad’s youngest member, 19-year-old forward Crummer will experience their first FIFA Women’s World Cup campaigns.
All seven players have featured in Australia’s preparations for the international tournament over recent months, which included their fifth-place finish at 2015 Cyprus Cup, an extensive training camp in Italy and friendly matches against Scotland and Austria throughout a six-week European tour.
“We have selected a positive squad with players that have a strong belief that they can go into any game and win,” said Stajcic.
“Over the course of the last four months the composition of this final squad has changed every week, but as always I believe ‘players pick themselves’ and the 23 players that have been selected thoroughly deserve to be in this squad and I am confident they will represent their country with distinction.”
Australia, currently 10th in FIFA’s World Rankings, has been drawn in Group D with 2011 runners-up United States, European heavyweights Sweden and 2014 African Women’s Champions Nigeria.
The Matildas’ campaign kicks off against the Americans on Tuesday, 9 June (9am AEST) at Winnipeg Stadium. Their second match against Nigeria on Saturday, 13 June (6.30am AEST) will also be played in Winnipeg with their final group stage against Sweden to be played at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Wednesday, 17 June (9.30am AEST).
“We now have our World Cup squad finalised, and now it is left with this group to carry the torch into taking on the world’s best,” said Stajcic.
“While it is a credit to the girls that have made it, we have achieved nothing yet as a team and there is still a lot of hard work to be done to achieve our potential.”
In great news for Matildas fans, SBS announced yesterday that the entire FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada will be broadcast live, free and exclusive on SBS ONE, SBS HD and online. The only exceptions on air are the concurrent group stage matches, which will be streamed live online at www.sbs.com.au/theworldgame.
MATILDAS SQUAD FOR 2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CANADA
1. Lydia WILLIAMS (Canberra United), 2. Larissa CRUMMER (Brisbane Roar), 3. Ashleigh SKYES (Canberra United), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (Brisbane Roar), 5. Laura ALLEWAY (Brisbane Roar), 6. Servet UZUNLAR (Sydney FC), 7. Steph CATLEY (Melbourne Victory), 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT (Brisbane Roar), 9. Caitlin FOORD (Perth Glory), 10. Emily VAN EGMOND (Newcastle Jets), 11. Lisa DE VANNA (Melbourne Victory), 12. Leena KHAMIS (Sydney FC), 13. Tameka BUTT (Brisbane Roar), 14. Alanna KENNEDY (Perth Glory), 15. Teresa POLIAS (Sydney FC), 16. Hayley RASO (Brisbane Roar), 17. Kyah SIMON (Sydney FC), 18. Melissa BARBIERI (Adelaide United), 19. Katrina GORRY (Brisbane Roar), 20. Samantha KERR (Perth Glory), 21. Mackenzie ARNOLD (Perth Glory), 22. Nicola BOLGER (Sydney FC), 23. Michelle HEYMAN (Canberra United)
MATILDAS GROUP STAGE MATCHES AT 2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CANADA
United States v Australia: Tuesday 9 June, SBS ONE 9am
Australia v Nigeria: Saturday 13 June, SBS ONE, 6.30am
Australia v Sweden: Wednesday 17 June. SBS ONE 9.30am