Australian head coach Alen Stajcic has selected 20 players for the 2016 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers to be held from 29 February 2016 to 9 March 2016 in Osaka, Japan.

“It was very difficult. It’s the first time we’ve had a major tournament in this time of the year so it added a lot of complexity to preparing and selecting the team,” said Stajcic.

“Having the W-League in between and still trying to manage the national team was a pretty big balancing act and I think credit should go to the players and the W-League clubs as well, we did a pretty good job navigating our way to not interfere too much but still being able to keep up the momentum of the national team.”

Stajcic has selected with three goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 6 midfielders and 6 forwards but his preference for versatility means several players have the ability to play in different positions and formations.

The squad includes 16 members of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad and with four players -  Caitlin Cooper, Emily Gielnik, Chloe Logarzo, Aivi Luik - impressing in Season 8 to earn selection. Goalkeeper Casey Dumont recovers from an ACL to make her way into the squad as the third goalkeeper.

“Emily Gielnik had a good W-League season and has been impressive when she has come into camp adding a good bit of pace and power to our front line,” said Stajcic.

“Caitlin Cooper is another who has come into the squad and performed really well in our preparations, while Casey Dumont has come back from her knee reconstruction. She’s still got a bit of a way to go to regain full fitness but she has certainly worked hard over the past three months to get back into the squad.”

One of the big omissions is forward Sam Kerr, who was unable to rehab in time from a ruptured foot ligament suffered early in the 2015/16 W-League season.

“We’ve been monitoring Sam’s recovery and she’s only been out of the moon boot for a couple of weeks so it was always going to be touch and go, but with the short turnaround between matches it was not worth taking the risk. Hopefully we qualify and she can put her hand up and be available for selection for Rio.”

A top-two finish in the tournament would see Australia join Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, South Africa, Zimbabwe and New Zealand in qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics this August.

It would be the first time Australia would have qualified for the Olympics through the AFC and their third appearance in the tournament with the last being at Athens 2004.

The Matildas squad have been in their final Australian camp since Monday and will complete their Australian preparations with a practice match against the Illawarra Stingrays on Friday at WIN Stadium.

The team and staff will then depart for a week long camp in Osaka, Japan on Monday, 22 February.

Australia commences their Olympic Qualifying campaign against Japan on Monday, 29 February 2016 at 9:35 p.m. AEDT.

Follow The Women's Game on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for coverage leading up to and throughout the tournament.

Australia - 2016 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers Squad (by position)

Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold, Casey Dumont

Defenders: Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Cooper

Midfielders: Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond, Tameka Butt, Katrina Gorry, Aivi Luik, Chloe Logarzo

Forwards: Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna, Kyah Simon, Michelle Heyman, Emily Gielnik

Australia - 2016 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers Squad

NumberNameDate of BirthPositionClubA International Caps (Goals)
1Lydia Williams13/05/1988GoalkeeperCanberra United49 (0)
2Larissa Crummer10/01/1996ForwardMelbourne City FC9 (1)
3Caitlin Cooper12/02/1988DefenderWS Wanderers FC3 (1)
4Clare Polkinghorne1/02/1989DefenderBrisbane Roar80 (5)
5Laura Alleway28/11/1989DefenderMelbourne City FC39 (2)
6Chloe Logarzo22/12/1994MidfielderNewcastle Jets3 (0)
7Stephanie Catley26/01/1994DefenderMelbourne City FC42 (2)
8Elise Kellond-Knight10/08/1990MidfielderPotsdam FC, Germany64 (1)
9Caitlin Foord11/11/1994ForwardPerth Glory28 (3)
10Emily van Egmond12/07/1993MidfielderFFC Frankfurt47 (11)
11Lisa De Vanna14/11/1984ForwardMelbourne City FC106 (37)
12Casey Dumont25/01/1992Goalkeeper-1 (0)
13Tameka Butt16/06/1991MidfielderBrisbane Roar52 (7)
14Alanna Kennedy21/01/1995DefenderSydney FC37 (0)
15Emily Gielnik13/05/1992ForwardBrisbane Roar7 (0)
16Michelle Heyman4/07/1988ForwardCanberra United41 (15)
17Kyah Simon25/06/1991ForwardSydney FC58 (15)
18Mackenzie Arnold25/02/1994GoalkeeperPerth Glory7 (0)
19Katrina Gorry13/08/1992MidfielderBrisbane Roar38 (11)
20Aivi Luik18/03/1985MidfielderMelbourne City FC16 (0)

Australia - 2016 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifiers Matches

Westfield Matildas v Japan

Monday 29 February 2016

Kincho Stadium, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate

Westfield Matildas v Vietnam

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 4:35pm local time (6:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 6:30pm AEDT on 7mate

Korea Republic v Westfield Matildas

Friday 4 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate

DPR Korea v Westfield Matildas

Monday 7 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)

LIVE nationally 9:30pm AEDT on 7mate

Westfield Matildas v China P.R.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Yanmar Stadium Nagai, Osaka

Kick-Off: 7:35pm local time (9:35pm AEDT)