Qantas Matildas to play New Zealand
The Qantas Matildas will commence their World Cup year with a two-match series of international training matches against New Zealand in Canberra next week. A squad of 27 players has been named for the seven-day camp.
The Qantas Matildas will commence their World Cup year with a two-match series of international training matches against New Zealand in Canberra next week.
Coach Tom Sermanni will have an expanded squad of 27 players during a seven-day camp as the team prepares for the commencement of their Olympic qualifying campaign later this month and the FIFA Women-s World Cup in China in September.
Four uncapped players will feature in the squad, namely Ellen Beaumont (Brisbane), Louisa Bisbi (Melbourne), Jenna Tristram (Newcastle) and Lisa Hartley (Wollongong).
Absentees from last year-s successful World Cup qualifying campaign include injured midfielder Sally Shipard and striker Lisa De Vanna currently playing in England.
“The camp and the matches will mark the start of a massive year for the team with Olympic qualifiers, and of course the Women-s World Cup over the course of the coming eight months,” said Qantas Matildas coach Tom Sermanni.
“Competition for places amongst the team will be undoubtedly be intense and the selection process will start from day one of this camp.”
Australia will meet New Zealand on Sunday 4 February and Tuesday 6 February (both 4.30pm) at the AIS in Canberra.
The Qantas Matildas squad for the camp at the AIS, Feb 2-8 is:
Goalkeepers - Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lisa Hartley (Wollongong), Lydia Williams (Canberra), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide)
Defenders - Di Alagich (Sydney), Ellen Beaumont (Brisbane), Louisa Bisbi (Melbourne), Kim Carroll (Brisbane), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Karla Reuter (Newcastle), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney)
Midfielders - Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Lana Harch (Brisbane), Collette McCallum (Perth), Amber Neilson (Newcastle), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Danielle Small (Sydney)
Forwards - Kate Gill (Newcastle), Sasha McDonnell (Brisbane), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Jenna Tristram (Newcastle), Sarah Walsh (Sydney) (* current home city)
The Qantas Matildas will commence their Olympic qualifying campaign on February 21 in Chinese Taipei having been drawn in Group C of the first stage of qualifying alongside Chinese Taipei, Myanmar and Uzbekistan. Should they finish top two in the group the team will progress to the final stage of qualifying and another four team group where DPR Korea await as a seeded team. The final stage of qualifying will be held between April and August with only the top team to progress to the 2008 Olympic Games.
The 2007 FIFA Women-s World Cup is scheduled for September 10-30 in China.