Australia have announced a strong squad for their upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup title defence in Vietnam, with the 23-strong roster a mixture of experience and youth.

Eleven players are veterans of the Matildas breakthrough win in China PR four years ago, including the likes of captain Kate Gill, Clare Polkinghorne and Elise Kellond-Knight.

Other key inclusions are W-League Player of the Year Tameka Butt and W-League Young Player of the Year Stephanie Catley, along with USA-based quartet Lisa De Vanna (Boston Breakers), Caitlin Foord (Sky Blue FC), Samantha Kerr and Lydia Williams (both Western New York Flash).

“During the recent camp I was impressed with the quality and standard of football that the girls produced and we certainly have been blessed with having some really good depth to pick from,” said interim coach Alen Stajcic, who recently assumed the reins from Hesterine de Reus.

“We have only been able to work together for a short time since I came in but we implemented some new things at the camp which they responded well to and I’m confident that this squad has the potential to be successful in Vietnam and give the tournament a good shake.”

Australia have been grouped alongside world champions Japan, Jordan and host nation Vietnam for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

The top five teams at the tournament will automatically qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™.

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