The Junior Tillies nomination comes after the side's landmark 12-day tour of the Pacific Islands in the lead-up to their AFC U/16 Championships in September.

The side were involved in multiple community meetings and proved a massive hit during their time in Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

Australia's foreign minister, Marise Payne, said the Junior Matildas were brilliant ambassadors.

“Sport brings people – and countries – together. We are proud to have supported the Junior Matildas ‘Pacific Step Up’ tour of Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. These young Australians are fantastic ambassadors and potential future diplomats," she said.

"They have inspired their peers across the region with their sporting prowess, friendship and positivity.

“We will continue to build on these wonderful relationships, including through sport, with our Pacific neighbours.”

FFA chairman Chris Nikou said the tour was about more than just football.

“Through its international programs, FFA has a strong track record of championing women and girls being involved as leaders and participants in football," he said.

“The Pacific Step Up was a significant undertaking – and what was delivered was far more than just three football matches."


Matildas to face Chile near full strength

Matildas coach Ante Milicic has selected 18 members of his World Cup squad for Australia's two internationals against Chile in November.