The Westfield Matildas squad for the upcoming Cyprus Cup has been announced ahead of Australia’s AFC Asian Women’s Cup defence in May.

The 23-strong squad, which will be captained by Kate Gill, includes two uncapped players; Newcastle Jets pair Gema Simon and Hannah Brewer.

The Westfield Matildas have been drawn alongside 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-finalists France, fast-improving Scotland and the Netherlands; home nation of Westfield Matildas coach Hesterine de Reus.

Westfield Matildas met both the Netherlands and France on European soil last year losing 3-1 to the Dutch, before securing a famous 2-0 victory over Les Bleues.

Westfield Matildas are in Group B of the 12-nation annual event, considered one of the elite non-FIFA tournaments in women’s football.

Group A features England, Italy, Finland and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts Canada. Group C includes Korea Republic, New Zealand, Switzerland and Republic of Ireland.

All teams will play group matches on March 5, 7 and 10, with play-offs for final positions held on March 12. The winners of Groups A and B will meet in the final.

Westfield Matildas coach Hesterine De Reus says the tournament will provide invaluable preparation for the AFC Asian Women’s Cup.

“International football is always a higher level than the domestic leagues so it is a good opportunity for the girls to move from domestic to international football in terms of speed of the game and all-round demands,” said De Reus.

“We will be facing strong opponents so it will be a tough test for us.

“We have a 23-player squad so we can give playing time to some other players and gain a better understanding of the depth we have in the squad, so there are any more positives from the tournament.

“But the most important thing is to get the players into international matches and into the level where we need to be. International matches are always important. So it is important to have three or four in a row.

“I think France and Holland will play quite similar, and Scotland I think will play with two strikers, so an opportunity to develop our playing style against a two or three striker system.

“We have many new players in camp which is exciting and it shows the W-League has been a good showcase for players to develop and are maybe they are now ready to step into the Matildas,” concluded de Reus.

The Westfield Matildas are preparing for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam, which double as FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers. Reigning champions Australia will be seeking to secure one of the five berths on offer for Canada 2015.

Westfield Matildas squad – Cyprus Cup

First NamesSurnameClub
TeigenAllenWestern Sydney Wanderers FC
LauraAllewayBrisbane Roar FC
NicolaBolgerSydney FC
HannahBrewerNewcastle Jets FC
TamekaButtBrisbane Roar FC
KimCarrollBrisbane Roar FC
StephanieCatleyMelbourne Victory FC
EmmaCheckerMelbourne Victory FC
BriannaDavey (gk)Melbourne Victory FC
CaseyDumont (gk)Sydney FC
CaitlinFoordSydney FC
KathrynGillPerth Glory FC
KatrinaGorryBrisbane Roar FC
MichelleHeymanCanberra United
EliseKellond-KnightBrisbane Roar FC
AlannaKennedyWestern Sydney Wanderers FC
SamKerrSydney FC
LeenaKhamisSydney FC
ChloeLogarzoSydney FC
HayleyRasoBrisbane Roar FC
GemaSimonNewcastle Jets FC
EmilyVan-EgmondWestern Sydney Wanderers FC
LydiaWilliams (gk)Canberra United