Youth performance points to bright future

The Westfield Matildas’ 7-0 trouncing of Chinese Taipei last night further underlined the potential of Australia’s next generation of women’s footballers.

The Westfield Matildas- 7-0 trouncing of Chinese Taipei last night further underlined the potential of Australia-s next generation of women-s footballers.

Five teenagers (Mackenzie Arnold, Stephanie Catley, Caitlin Foord, Samantha Kerr and Emily van Egmond) started Australia-s opening EAFF Women-s East Asian Cup 2013 qualifier.

In addition, fellow starters Kyah Simon (21), Laura Alleway (22) and Servet Uzunlar (23) are hardly veterans of the international game - pointing to a very bright future for Australian women-s football.

“Obviously it was good to get up 7-0 last night, so good to get a few goals on the board,” said defender Catley, who since debuting against New Zealand earlier this year has quickly accumulated seven senior international caps in green and gold.

“We attacked really well, so we-ll just be looking to take that attacking form into next game.

“It-s a promising thing for the Westfield Matildas to have so many youngsters in there, on a personal level it-s been a really, really good year for me.

“Hopefully we-ll just keep working hard, we-ve all got to make sure we still are performing to stay in the starting line up.”

Westfield Matildas coach Tom Sermanni also introduced Sydney FC-s 18-year-old ace Teigen Allen off the bench against Chinese Taipei and will likely give extended game time to other youngsters in tomorrow-s match against Hong Kong.

Such is the turnaround time between matches in Shenzhen, the depth of Australia-s 20-player squad will be tested in the lead up to what is looming as the crunch fixture of the tournament - against China PR on Saturday.

China PR recorded a 6-0 win over Hong Kong in yesterday-s other match, indicating follow up wins for both the hosts and the Westfield Matildas in tomorrow-s round of fixtures would seem likely.

Never the less, the Westfield Matildas will maintain their focus and discipline for their first clash against Hong Kong since a pair of convincing Olympic Games qualifying wins in 2007.

“I think it-s good starting with a young team, I think that-s what a lot of Asian countries do, they just start from young and as the years go on they get stronger and stronger,” said defender Foord, who claimed the prize for Best Young Player at the 2011 FIFA Women-s World Cup in Germany.

“I just can-t wait to see what we look like in three years time.

“We don-t go into any game thinking it-s going to be easy, we-ll just go out (against Hong Kong) like we did yesterday and hopefully we come away with another win.”

The Westfield Matildas- quest to qualify for the EAFF Women-s East Asian Cup 2013 continues with a clash against Hong Kong at Shenzhen Stadium on Thursday, 22 November. Kick off is at 5pm local time (8pm AEDT).