Matildas Head Coach Ante Milicic has announced his 23 player squad for Australia’s eighth FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Atletico Madrid’s creative midfielder Alex Chidiac was a big one who missed out on selection. Goalkeeper Eliza Campbell, Princess Ibini, Michelle Heyman, Teresa Polias and Elizabeth Ralston were among others who too didn’t make the cut. While two additional players – Kyah Simon and 17-year-old Melbourne Victory forward Kyra Cooney-Cross – will also join the Matildas in Europe prior to the tournament on standby.

Collectively the team has almost 1,300 international caps. Veteran Lisa De Vanna has earned her fourth World Cup selection, as has Clare Polkinghorne and Lydia Williams. Captain Sam Kerr is joined by vice-captain Steph Catley to round out the leadership team, in what will be their third and second Women’s World Cup appearance respectively.

One squad highlight is teen sensation and 16-year-old forward Mary Fowler, who compliments the abundance of experience.

“I don’t like to single out individuals, however I would like to congratulate Lisa (De Vanna), Clare (Polkinghorne), and Lydia (Williams) for earning selection in their fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup™ squads.

“I am really looking forward to joining the squad in Turkey, and believe we can make significant progress before our first match is played in Valenciennes,” he said.

Australia will play the Netherlands in a pre-tournament friendly in Eindhoven on Saturday, 1 June.

Louise Taffa