Australia have announced a youthful squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ commencing later this month in Germany.
With seven teenagers included in the 21-stong squad and an average age of just 22, the Matildas are set to be one of the youngest teams in Germany.
The squad includes Lisa De Vanna with the dynamic striker catapulting to prominence at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. Other veterans of that squad include the team’s most-capped current player Heather Garriock, fellow midfielder Collette McCallum and captain Melissa Barbieri.
Injury and retirement means numerous key names are missing from the squad which featured at China 2007, with Kate Gill, Sarah Walsh and Thea Slatyer all recently succumbing to knee injuries to miss out on Germany.
“We have a lot of pace and mobility, and we also have a lot of good footballers in this group,” Australia coach Tom Sermanni told FIFA.com.
“The negative of our youthful squad is the unknown. If things go well there is no problem, but if not it’s a case of which players stand up. However, the squad has a certain energy and confidence which perhaps wasn’t the case in previous generations.
“Overall I am very happy with the composition of the squad but it has been incredibly difficult to have to leave certain players out.
“The team has changed dramatically in the past 18 months and as I said before the Asian Cup we will definitely go into this tournament with cautious optimism."
Australia are in Group D where they will face Brazil on 29 June, Equatorial Guinea on 3 July and Norway on 6 July.
Goalkeepers: Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne Victory), Casey Dumont (Brisbane Roar), Lydia Williams (Canberra United)
Defenders: Teigen Allen (Sydney FC), Laura Alleway (Brisbane Roar), Kim Carroll (Brisbane Roar), Elise Kellond-Knight (Brisbane Roar), Ellyse Perry (Canberra United), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Servet Uzunlar (Sydney FC)
Midfielders: Tameka Butt (Brisbane Roar), Lauren Colthorpe (Brisbane Roar), Heather Garriock (Malmo/Sweden), Collette McCallum (Perth Glory), Sally Shipard (Canberra United), Emily van Egmond (Canberra United)
Forwards: Lisa De Vanna (magicJack/USA), Caitlin Foord (Sydney FC), Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory), Leena Khamis (Sydney FC), Kyah Simon (Sydney FC)
* All team squad lists are considered provisional until FIFA’s official announcement.