Head Coach Melissa Andreatta has finalised Australia’s U-23 Representative Team to compete at the 2022 AFF Women’s Championships in Manila, Philippines and the squad includes Canberra born goalkeepers Chloe Lincoln and Sally James.
Australia will take 28-players to face the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia in Group A of the tournament commencing on 4 July 2022. Andreatta expressed her anticipation of facing the best nations in the South-East Asian region and the opportunity ahead for the team.
“It’s an exciting time and to be preparing for an international tournament is something I’ve been really looking forward to. I know this group of players are too,” Andreatta said.
“The 28 players that we’ve selected are some of our brightest young prospects in Australian football. They have been selected as players that have performed strongly in the A-League Women’s season and then have moved into different environments and continued to perform consistently.
“They have shown qualities that we’d like to see tested at the next level and potentially identify a player for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™.”
All but two members of the squad are aged 23 and under with Larissa Crummer and Matilda McNamara selected. Six members of the squad have recorded full senior international appearances with eight players participating in the recent June FIFA Women’s International Window in Spain and Portugal with the CommBank Matildas.
A further 15 players were featured in Leah Blayney’s CommBank Young Matildas squad that took part in the recent two-match international series between Australia and the Junior Football Ferns last month.
“Tournaments like this I think are crucial in continued the development of footballers gaining invaluable knowledge of playing in tournament mode against top nations,” Andreatta added.
“Gaining vital match minutes, in the best possible environments, is something that we’ve known for a long time now is critical for the development of a player. Through this tournament, in addition to the recent CommBank Matildas and CommBank Young Matildas camps, we are providing the next generation of footballers more chances to build their bank of competition experience.
“There’s a lot that gets me excited about this group and their quality. These players have shown some unique qualities that we think could add to what we already have and create more depth and competition in the extended CommBank Matildas squad.
“I’m eager to see these players take this opportunity with both hands and really test themselves against the best in South-East Asia.”
Australia will kick off their tournament against hosts the Philippines on 4 July at Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan.