W-League legend and current Bristol City midfielder Ella Mastrantonio has earned a long awaited recall back to the Matildas squad, 13 years after her last international cap for Australia.
If she gets on the field, it will be the longest gap between international caps for Australia in the 42 year history of the Matildas.
Her recall has been met with widespread applause, with former Matilda legend Catherine Cannuli welcoming the move.
“I think its great to see new names in the mix, and Ella definitely has a footballing talent and it will be great to see her on the world stage playing against some of the best footballers in the world,” said Cannuli.
“She took the leap to head over to the UK to play in one of the best leagues and the sacrifice and hard work has now paid off.”
Her sentiments were echoed by another former Matilda, Shelley Youman.
“Its great to see Ella back in the squad, it will be good to see how she fits in as a more mature experienced player,” said Youman. “A new coach means the opportunity needs to be grabbed with both hands.”
The 23 player squad will assemble for two friendlies this month against Germany (11 April) and Holland (14 April). Australian based W-League players were not considered for selection due to COVID19 issues.
Mastrantonio’s solid form in England has impressed Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson as he prepares his team for the Tokyo Olympics in July.
‘The Maestro’, as she is known, earned six caps for Australia in 2008 as a 16-year-old, but surprisingly hasn’t played for the Matildas since.
Her debut was against Japan in June 2008 in the Asian Cup Finals, her last outing was against Vietnam in October 2008 in the final of the ASEAN Football Federation Championships which Australia won.
Mastrantonio had been a consistent performer in the W-League from 2008-2020 playing 103 games for Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers.
She won her first foreign contract when she signed for Bristol City last year, and was part of the Vixens team that played in the recent League Cup Final against Chelsea at Vicarage Road.
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