NSW Born stars Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Carpenter, Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Foord, Kyah Simon and Mary Fowler have all won selection into the 18-strong women’s football side for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Blacktown born Courtney Nevin will also travel with the squad as one of four reserve players should any injuries occur.
Captained by Sam Kerr, the Matildas squad boasts 12 returning Rio Olympians for their second Games and six set to make their Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Falling to a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to hosts Brazil in the Rio 2016 quarter-finals, the Matildas squad is determined to make Tokyo a memorable tournament.
The squad is filled with players plying their trade in some of the biggest clubs in women’s football including FA Women’s Super League title and Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr, Lyon star defender Ellie Carpenter, UEFA Women’s Champions League bound Arsenal trio, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams, as well as W-League Championship match winner Kyra Cooney-Cross.
The 18 players selected are a mix of youth and experience, with three players recording over 100 international appearances for Australia. Teenagers Cooney-Cross and Mary Fowler join Teagan Micah, Emily Gielnik, Hayley Raso and veteran Aivi Luik as the six Olympic debutants.
The Matildas qualified for the Olympics in March 2020, with Emily van Egmond and Sam Kerr leading the Australian charge during the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. The women’s football team punched their ticket to Tokyo away from home with victory in Quang Ninh, Vietnam.
The Matildas open their campaign on 21 July against New Zealand before meeting world number five and reigning Olympic silver medallists Sweden, and finishing the group stage against reigning World Champions and world number one USA.
Captain Sam Kerr said leading the team at an Olympics is a special feeling.
“It’s a massive honour,” Kerr said. “Any time I pull on the jumper, I feel really proud, but to call yourself an Olympian is something special. Not many people get to do it so I’m really proud to be an Olympian and to represent Australia. I can’t wait!
“It’s different to say a World Cup just for the fact that it is the Olympics. It’s a little bit prestigious, it’s just overwhelming. I grew up watching the Olympics like everyone else so to be here, for my second time, is a dream come true.
“The Matildas are a really, really exciting team. We’re fast, we’re strong, we’re fit, and I feel like the rest of the world knows that about us. It’s really about using our strengths to the best of our abilities. Off the field what people don’t see is we’re a really close-knit family. We all have each other’s back and we can’t wait to go and represent Australia in the best way possible.
“I’m really proud and really excited for this opportunity, it’s something I definitely don’t take for granted.”
At just 18, debutant Mary Fowler is the youngest on the team.
“It feels absolutely amazing to be selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” Fowler said. “As a kid, it’s the one dream I had in sports so it feels amazing.
“The moment I found out I was going to Tokyo; I was in a meeting with the coaches, and I don’t really expect myself to react overly over the top, to be so emotional.
“But when I got told, and I got handed a piece of paper saying I’m going, everything just clicked. And then I just started tearing up. I was a bit taken aback because this doesn’t usually happen, but it was just a really good feeling.”
Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo – Women’s Football
|Lydia Williams||Goalkeeper||33||2nd (2016)||Katanning||WA||6317|
|Alanna Kennedy||Defender||26||2nd (2016)||Rosemeadow||NSW||2560|
|Steph Catley||Defender||27||2nd (2016)||Seaford||VIC||3198|
|Clare Polkinghorne||Defender||32||2nd (2016)||Tingalpa||QLD||4173|
|Ellie Carpenter||Defender||21||2nd (2016)||Wamberal||NSW||2260|
|Emily van Egmond||Midfielder||27||2nd (2016)||Warners Bay||NSW||2282|
|Elise Kellond-Knight||Midfielder||30||2nd (2016)||Gold Coast||QLD||4216|
|Tameka Yallop||Midfielder||30||2nd (2016)||Upper Coomera||QLD||4209|
|Chloe Logarzo||Midfielder||26||2nd (2016)||Annandale||NSW||2038|
|Sam Kerr||Forward||27||2nd (2016)||North Coogee||WA||6163|
|Caitlin Foord||Forward||26||2nd (2016)||Lake Illawarra||NSW||2528|
|Emily Gielnik||Forward||29||Debut||Alexandra Hills||QLD||4161|
|Kyah Simon||Forward||30||2nd (2016)||Tacoma||NSW||2259|
Mackenzie Arnold, Laura Brock, Charlotte Grant and Courtney Nevin have been named as the travelling reserves. If called up to the team due to injury or other circumstances, they would be selected to the Australian Olympic