The Matildas team blocked for Tokyo with the official Olympic selection


The Australian Olympic Committee has selected the 18-member women’s football team from the Australian Olympic team.

Led by Sam Kerr, the Matildas team has 12 Olympians returning from Rio for their second Games and six are set to make their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.

The Matildas team are determined to make Tokyo a tournament to remember.

The squad is filled with players plying their trade at some of the biggest clubs in women’s football, including the FA Women’s Super League title and Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr, Lyon defender Ellie Carpenter, the trio of Arsenal linked to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams, as well as W-League championship match winner Kyra Cooney-Cross.

Ellie Carpenter and Steph Catley with their Qantas boarding passes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

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 six Olympic debutants.

The Matilas have qualified for the Olympic Games in March 2020, with Emily van Egmond and Sam Kerr leading the Australian charge in the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. The women’s soccer team hit their ticket to Tokyo away from home with a victory in Quang Ninh, Vietnam.

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission for Tokyo Ian Chesterman praised today’s selection.

“Congratulations to the 18 players selected for the Australian Olympic team,” said Mr. Chesterman.

The Matilas have shown that they are a world class team and we will be delighted to see them proudly wearing green and gold in Tokyo.

“This team has shown incredible resilience and a strong bond to weather the trials of the pandemic and I know they are up to the challenge in Tokyo.

“As 18 athletes take a fantastic Olympic milestone today, I also want to thank the countless family, friends, supporters, coaches and teammates who have helped these athletes grow from junior footballers to Olympic athletes ready to compete on the biggest sports scene in the world.

Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon and Caitlin Foord with their Qantas boarding passes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon and Caitlin Foord with their Qantas boarding passes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

“The Matildas are here to make an impact in Tokyo and I know millions of Australian fans will cheer them on from home.”

The Matilas open their campaign against New Zealand on July 21 before meeting world number five and reigning Olympic silver medalist Sweden and finishing the group stage against reigning world champions and world number one the United States.

Captain Sam Kerr said it was a special feeling to lead the team at the Olympics.

“It’s a huge honor,” Kerr said. “Every time I put on the sweater I feel really proud, but to be called an Olympian is something special. Not many people can do it, so I’m really proud to be an Olympian and to represent Australia. I look forward !

“It’s different from saying a World Cup just because it’s the Olympics. It’s a bit glamorous, it’s just overwhelming. I grew up watching the Olympics like everyone else, so being here for my second time was 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 about us.

“It’s really about using our strengths to the best of our ability. Off the pitch what people don’t see is that we are a tight-knit family. We all support each other and look forward to it. ‘go and represent Australia in the best possible way.

“I’m really proud and really excited for this opportunity, it’s something I certainly don’t take for granted.”

At just 18, debutante Mary Fowler is the youngest on the team.

“It’s absolutely amazing to be selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said Fowler. “As a kid, it’s the only dream I had in sport, so it’s amazing.

“By the time I knew I was going to Tokyo; I was in a meeting with the coaches, and I don’t really expect to overreact, to be so emotional.

“But when I was told and handed me a piece of paper saying I was going, it all went off.

“Then I started to cry. I was a little taken aback because that doesn’t usually happen, but it was just a really good feeling.”

Coach Tony Gustavsson said the strength of the squad made today’s selection very difficult.

Mathilde celebrates at Rio 2016
Mathilde celebrates at Rio 2016

“First I want to thank all the players who fought for a place, and they did so so that I had a difficult decision to make,” said Gustavsson. “This is how it should be for a head coach and this is also how we improve.

“The players who have been selected are a team with a lot of passion and pride to now represent the country. It’s a spirit within the team that I love.

“It’s a very balanced team and roster in attack, but also with a lot of versatility. There are a lot of players on this list who can play in multiple positions, which is exactly what you need in an Olympic tournament.

On the pitch, you will certainly see a courageous team that will take a step forward. It will be an offensive state of mind on the pitch. Off the pitch, this team will always represent themselves in the best possible way. They are a genuine team who are truly loyal to who they are and very, very proud to represent their country.

Mackenzie Arnold, Laura Brock, Charlotte Grant and Courtney Nevin were appointed traveling reserves. If they were called up to the team due to injury or other circumstances, then they would be selected to the Australian Olympic team.

The soccer competition runs from July 21 to August 7 at venues across Japan.

Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo – Women’s Football

Last name
Position
Age
Olympic Games
Lydia williams
Goalie
33
2nd (2016)
Teagan Micah
Goalie
23
Start
Alanna kennedy
Defender
26
2nd (2016)
Steph catley
Defender
27
2nd (2016)
Claire Polkinghorne
Defender
32
2nd (2016)
Aivi Liège
Defender
36
Start
Ellie Charpentier
Defender
21
2nd (2016)
Emily van egmond
Midfielder
27
2nd (2016)
Tameka Yallop
Midfielder
30
2nd (2016)
Elise Kellond-Chevalier
Midfielder
30
2nd (2016)
Chloe Logarzo
Midfielder
26
2nd (2016)
Kyra Cooney-Cross
Midfielder
19
Start
Sam kerr
Before
27
2nd (2016)
Hayley raso
Before
26
Start
Caitlin ford
Before
26
2nd (2016)
Emily gielnik
Before
29
Start
Kyah simon
Before
30
2nd (2016)
Marie fowler
Before
18
Start

AUSTRALIA – GROUP G MATCHES

Australia vs. New Zealand
July 21, 2021
Kick-off: 9:30 p.m. (AEST)
Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo

Sweden v Australia
July 24, 2021
Kick-off: 6.30 p.m. (AEST)
Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama

United States vs. Australia
July 27, 2021
Kick-off: 6:00 p.m. (AEST)
Kashima Stadium, Kashima


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