Even with a restricted roster size for Rio, the Matildas are spoilt for choice with a plethora of talented midfielders to play.
Even with a restricted roster size for Rio, the Matildas are spoilt for choice with a plethora of talented midfielders to play. From Elise Kellond-Knight, the 72 game veteran to Chloe Logarzo who is just 9 games deep into her national team career, the Matildas have a good balance of experience and youthful enthusiasm.
Elise Kellond-Knight, 25, Turbine Potsdam
Elise Kellond-Knight, who will turn 26 during the Matildas Rio campaign, has been a valued member of the Matildas outfit since her debut in 2007. Kellond-Knight has played 7 seasons for Westfield W-League team Brisbane Roar, while also playing internationally for Fortuna Hjørring in Denmark (2011-2012) and Iga F.C. Kunoichi in Japan (2014).
Currently playing for German team Turbine Potsdam, Kellond-Knight, affectionately known as KK to her teammates, lives for the big moments. After two extremely successful Women’s World Cup campaigns, where she was named in the All-Star team in both 2011 and 2015, Kellond-Knight now sets her sights on an Olympic medal. Elise Kellond-Knight’s ability to read the play and shut down the opposition’s offensive combinations is what makes her so successful in the defensive midfield position.
Emily van Egmond, 23, FFC Frankfurt
Emily van Egmond brings a wealth of international playing experience to the Matildas midfield that far exceeds her 23 years. Currently playing for FFC Frankfurt, van Egmond has played for the Newcastle Jets, Canberra United and Western Sydney Wanderers in the W-league.
She has also played for Danish team Fortuna Hjørring, and featured in the United States NWSL for Western New York Flash, Seattle Reign FC, and the Chicago Red Stars. After advancing through the junior teams, van Egmond first appeared for the senior Matildas in 2010, and has since notched up 53 appearances and 14 goals for Australia. The 2014 Julie Dolan Medal recipient is dangerous in front of goal and is exceptionally poised when moving the ball around the pitch.
Katrina Gorry, 23, Brisbane Roar
Katrina Gorry, known as “mini” due to her 5ft 1 frame, had her breakout year in 2014. After debuting for Australia in 2012, Gorry continued to impress selectors with her ability to drive an attacking sequence with a deadly through ball. What she lacks in height she makes up for in speed and skill, even managing to score a header in Australia’s 3-1 victory over Japan in the 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Gorry’s second goal in the tournament against North Korea sealed an Olympic birth for the Matildas.
After claiming the 2012-13 W-League premiership with Brisbane Roar, Gorry was part of the FC Kansas City NWSL championship team in 2014. Gorry was also named AFC Women’s Player of the Year, and FFA Female Footballer of the Year in 2014. Currently playing for Brisbane Roar, Gorry, who will celebrate her 24th birthday during the Olympics, now looks poised and ready for her Olympic debut.
Tameka Butt, 25, Brisbane Roar / Mallbackens
Tameka Butt first appeared for the Matildas in 2007, after progressing through the junior Australian teams, to establish herself as a regular contributor for the senior Matildas. Butt began her professional playing career with Brisbane Roar in 2008, and has since made 75 appearances with an impressive 40 goals scored.
She continues to play for the Roar, while also playing internationally. Butt appeared in the NWSL for the Boston Breakers in 2012, before heading over to Germany to play for FFC Frankfurt in the 2013-14 season. She also played for Iga F.C. Kunoichi in Japan in 2014, and is currently playing for Mallbackens in Sweden. Butt was the Westfield W-League Players-Player of the Year in 2012-13, the Julie Dolan Medal recipient in 2013-14, the season she also won goal of the year for Brisbane Roar. The 25 year old has often served as the first midfield substitute, for the Kellond-Knight-Gorry-van Egmond trifecta, but her impressive form and consistent playing style over the last year makes her a big contender for some serious minutes in Rio.
Caitlin Foord, 21, Perth Glory
Caitlin Foord has proved herself to be a utility player for the Matildas over the last few years, with her ability to perform all over the field. Traditionally a right winger, the 21 year old played in the right back position for the Matildas in the 2011 Women’s World cup, and more recently, has used her blistering pace to thread through the oppositions defence. Foord began her W-League Career with Sydney FC in 2010, notching up 35 appearances and 6 goals across 4 seasons. She has also played for Sky Blue FC in the NWSL and currently combines her Matildas duties with her club commitments at Perth Glory. Foord debuted for the national team in 2011, and has since gained 45 caps with 7 goals.
Foord scored both goals in the first of two friendlies against New Zealand in June of this year, showing her speed and skill in attack. She made history as the youngest Australian to ever play at a World Cup in 2011 (when she was just 16), an occasion where she also picked up the award for Best Young Player at the tournament. Foord was further recognised as the 2011 Asian Young Footballer of the Year, before winning the W-League Premiership with Sydney FC that same year, and again with Perth Glory in 2014. If the farewell matches against New Zealand are anything to go by, it is likely we could be seeing Foord in a more attacking role in Rio. Her adaptability and athleticism however, make her a genuine contender for a variety of positions come August.
Chloe Logarzo, 21, Newcastle Jets / Eskilstuna United
Chloe Logarzo, who will be joining Swedish side Eskilstuna United after her Rio campaign, first appeared in the Matildas side in 2013. She played 4 seasons with Sydney FC, making a name for herself with with 48 appearances and 11 goals in that time.
Logarzo had a successful stint with the Colorado Pride in 2014 where her 8 goals and 7 assists in just 10 games helped lead the team to the play-offs in their first season, earning her the rookie of the year award. Logarzo captained Australia’s under 20 side back in 2013, and has continued to progress and develop as a footballer since that time. No doubt she will be a valuable contributor for the Matildas in Rio.