Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic has named a 21 player squad for the 2017 Algarve Cup commencing on 1 March 2017 in Portugal.
The squad was named on the back of the 2016/17 W-League season performances coupled with the 3 day training camp which concluded today.
With the player selections, Stajcic continues to look to expand the available playing squad for the next cycle.
“Increasing the experience and capacity of players who have been in the team for a long time and continuing to improve them both on and off the field is certainly something we’ve spoken about this week in terms of improving the quality of the squad from within as the first port of call.”
Six players – Teigen Allen, Alex Chidiac, Emma Checker, Amy Harrison, Hayley Raso and Gema Simon – return to the Matildas fold after long absences. Meanwhile Emily Gielnik – an alternate player for the Rio 2016 Olympics – makes a return to the full squad.
Both Harrison and Checker return to the Matildas set up after a year on the sidelines with an ACL tear.
“These players that have come back into the squad have shown plenty during the W-League season and their performances have been at a good level,” said Stajcic.
“As I’ve stated before we’re heading into a new cycle so there is an increase on the competition for places and we’re looking for who can provide that extra depth and quality.”
“Having positions covered by more players and building that depth is really what we’re looking for.”
Michelle Heyman misses the Algarve Cup after being unable to return in time from her injury sustained in the W-League
“Unfortunately Michelle Heyman can’t be in line for selection as she hasn’t recovered quickly enough, but to have a number of players on the verge of coming back to full fitness makes it even more exciting about how this team is going to be.”
Several Matildas regulars including Laura Alleway, Larissa Crummer (injured) and Tameka Butt have not been selected while Ashleigh Sykes continues to opt out of the Matildas set up.
Stajcic will call the Algarve Cup squad back for a training camp next week from 20 – 22 February 2017 before the team departs later in the week for Albufeira, Portugal.
The 12 team tournament sees the Matildas meet three top 15 opponents in Rio Olympics silver medallists Sweden (8), 2015 Women’s World Cup participants Netherlands (12) and Rio Olympics quarter finalists China (13).
It will be Australia’s first appearance in 15 years at the international invitation and it begins Australia’s journey to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The 12 teams will play round robin format with the teams ranked to determine placement matches.
We will have full coverage of the 2017 Algarve Cup commencing 27 February 2017.
2017 Algarve Cup Squad
GOALKEEPERS (2): Lydia Williams (Melbourne City / Houston Dash), Mackenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar)
DEFENDERS (8): Teigen Allen (Melbourne City), Steph Catley (Melbourne City / Orlando Pride), Ellie Carpenter (WS Wanderers), Emma Checker (Canberra United), Amy Harrison (Sydney FC), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Alanna Kennedy (Sydney FC), Gema Simon (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Alex Chidiac (Adelaide United), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Elise Kellond Knight (Turbine Potsdam), Emily van Egmond (Wolfsburg), Chloe Logarzo (Newcastle Jets)
FORWARDS (6): Lisa De Vanna (Canberra United / Orlando Pride), Caitlin Foord (Sydney FC), Emily Gielnik (Brisbane R0ar), Sam Kerr (Perth Glory / Sky Blue FC), Hayley Raso (Canberra United / Portland Thorns), Kyah Simon (Sydney FC)
2017 Algarve Cup Fixtures
Australia v Sweden
1 March 2015
Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufeira
Kick off: 18:30 local (2 March 2017 – 5.30am AEDT)
Australia v Netherlands
3 March 2015
VRS António Sports Complex, Vila Real de Santo António
Kick off: 15:00 local (4 March 2017 – 2.00am AEDT)
China PR v Australia
6 March 2015
Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufeira
Kick off: 15:00 local (7 March 2017 – 2.00am AEDT)
8 March 2017 (9 March 2017)