Fully fit Matildas for crucial DPR Korea match

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni will have a fully-fit squad of 20 players to choose from for tomorrow’s crucial Beijing Olympic qualifying match against DPR (North) Korea at Coffs Harbour.

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni will have a fully-fit squad of 20 players to choose from for tomorrow-s crucial Beijing Olympic qualifying match against DPR (North) Korea at Coffs Harbour.

The two teams will face each at the BCU international Stadium with the Matildas needing a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.

The expanded squad, which includes the return from injury of experienced duo in striker Caitlin Munoz and midfielder Danielle Small, will be trimmed to 18 players on match day.

The only absentee will be attacking fullback Heather Garriock who will be forced to sit out with a one-match suspension.

Captain Cheryl Salisbury believes there is a quite confidence in the group with the match to be played in a completely different environment to that which saw the Koreans win 2-0 in front of up to 40,000 spectators at the Yanggakdo Stadium in Pyongyang last Sunday.

“There is a confidence amongst the group because every player knows that we only played to part of our potential last week,” says Salisbury.

“We are not dwelling on the negative things, we have reviewed what we did wrong and what we are capable of and the squad are confident that we can win the game.

“We are largely focusing on our own game rather than the opposition and the mood of the team is good and mostly relaxed.

The match against DPR Korea on Sunday could determine the qualifier from Group B which also comprises Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei. After two rounds both Australia and DPR Korea have recorded large victories over the other two nations in the group with Australia defeating Hong Kong 15-0 and Chinese Taipei 10-0 in April.

DPR Korea are Asia-s highest ranked team listed at 5 on the FIFA Women-s World Rankings, while Australia are now ranked at an all-time high of 14.

The Matildas squad in Coffs Harbour is:

Goalkeepers - Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide)

Defenders - Di Alagich (Sydney), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney)

Midfielders - Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Alicia Ferguson (Brisbane), Lana Harch (Brisbane), Collette McCallum (Perth), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Canberra), Danielle Small (Sydney)

Forwards - Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lisa DeVanna (Perth), Kate Gill (Newcastle), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Sarah Walsh (Sydney) (current home city)

The Matildas have already qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup to be held in China this September where they have been drawn against Norway, Canada and Ghana.

TV SBS will have LIVE coverage of the team-s matches against DPR Korea on Sunday 10 June and Chinese Taipei on Sunday 12 August. Both LIVE matches will be shown as “The World Game” weekly Football Feature from 3:00pm.

TICKETS Tickets for the Matildas matches in Coffs harbour are available online via www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au, from the Coffs Harbour City Council-s central ticketing system located at the Jetty Memorial Theatre, phone: 02 6652 8088 Mon-Fri 10.00am - 4.00pm, or at the gate on match day.

FIXTURES Australia v Hong Kong 15-0 Saturday 7 April, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Chinese Taipei v Australia 0-10 Sunday 15 April, 4pm Chungshan Stadium, Kaohslung, Chinese Taipei

DPR Korea v Australia 2-0 Sunday 3 June Yanggakdo Stadium, Pyongyang

Australia v North Korea Sunday 10 June, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour

Hong Kong v Australia Saturday 4 August Venue TBC

Australia v Chinese Taipei Sunday 12 August, 3pm BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour