Tony Gustavsson names four uncapped players in his first Matildas squad

Sport

Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson named four debutants in his first squad for internationals against Germany and the Netherlands later this month.

The 23-player party comprises 13 players that helped Australia qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with defenders Laura Brock and Emma Checker, plus midfielders Amy Harrison, Amy Sayer and Ella Mastrantonio earning recalls.

Four uncapped players have also been added to the national team fold, including former Young Matildas Indiah-Paige Riley, Beatrice Goad and Alex Huynh. Dylan Holmes, who plays for BK Hachen in Sweden, rounds out the quartet.

The group will assemble in the Netherlands on 5 April. In their first matches since March 2020, Australia will face two of world football’s heavyweights in reigning Olympic gold medalists Germany and FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 finalists, the Netherlands, on 11 and 14 April (AEST), respectively.

“With this camp and international matches, the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take a significant step forward and I am eager to see what the players will bring to the environment,” said Gustavsson.

“Knowing the close bond between the playing group, this camp will be good for morale as we assemble for the first time in almost 400 days.”

“Even with all the challenges that have been presented, including the decision to exclude selection of Australian-based players, I believe this is a great chance to learn about the qualities of all the players, on and off the pitch.”

Six players from the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic qualifiers are not available for selection including midfielder Katrina Gorry, who is expecting her first child in August.

Defender Steph Catley, midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight and forward Kyah Simon will continue injury rehabilitation in their home environments.

“Germany and the Netherlands are extremely tough teams with incredibly talented players. They provide an opportunity for the coaching staff, Mel Andreatta and I to evaluate the team and closely examine how we want to evolve,” Gustavsson added.

“The exciting part is that every player has the chance to prove themselves, whether they are an experienced player with almost 100 caps, or a player earning their first call up. On the back of the announcement of the host cities, this is not only about Olympic preparation but it is also the start of our road to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”

Matildas squad:

Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham), Laura Brock (Avant de Guingamp), Ellie Carpenter (Lyon), Emma Checker (UMF Selfoss), Caitlin Foord (Arsenal), Mary Fowler (Montpellier), Emily Gielnik (Vittsjo GIK), Beatrice Goad (SV Meppen), Amy Harrison (PSV), Dylan Holmes (BK Hächen), Alexandra Huynh (Napoli), Alanna Kennedy (Tottenham Hotspur), Sam Kerr (Chelsea), Chloe Logarzo (Kansas City), Aivi Luik (Sevilla), Ella Mastranonio (Bristol City), Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK), Hayley Raso (Everton), Indiah-Paige Riley (Fortuna Hjorring), Karly Roestbakken (LSK Kvinner), Amy Sayer (Stanford University), Emily Van Egmond (West Ham United), Lydia Williams (Arsenal).