Westfield Matildas squad named for training camp

Canberra United's Grace Maher has been called up to the Westfield Matildas for a training camp at the AIS.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Staff writer

 Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic has named three uncapped players plus an injection of youth in a 25-player squad for a three day training camp at the AIS in Canberra beginning on Wednesday (15 February).

Canberra United’s Grace Maher, 15 year old Melbourne City FC midfielder Jacynta Galabadaarachchi and Western Sydney Wanderers FC goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman are the uncapped trio who have been selected as Stajcic begins to build and mould a squad that will take the Westfield Matildas into the next phase of major tournaments.

The squad also comprises five players who are 18 years of age or younger, with up and coming talent Ellie Carpenter joined by Alex Chidiac, Galabadaarachchi, Maher and Mathyssen-Whyman as part of an exuberant young brigade.

“We are now heading into a new four year cycle. The last cycle ended after the Rio Olympics so this is the beginning of a new cycle up until after the Tokyo Games, so we’re looking at what kind of team we can take to qualify for the major tournaments, starting with the Asian Cup next year,” said Stajcic.

Grace Maher.“It’s about having a squad that can peak in these tournaments.”

Stajcic said players chosen for the camp were picked for their form in the Westfield W-League but also for performances at underage national level.

“For the majority it is about what they showed in the W-League but others have done well at Young Matildas camps and in the Under 17 national team, so it could have been on any major arena that we watched them play on,” said Stajcic.

“They’re players we think have the potential to be really good international footballers.

“The biggest objective of this camp and one of the major factors in the squad we’ve selected is building the depth of the team and increasing the competition within the team and giving more players the experience of being in a Matildas camp and playing senior international football.

Ellie CarpenterThe camp at the AIS will be followed by a second training camp in Sydney’s west from 20-22 February ahead of the Westfield Matildas’ participation in the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

The squad for the second training camp will be trimmed to 18-20 players, which will consist of the final squad that will travel to the Algarve Cup. German based midfield duo Elise Kellond-Knight and Emily van Egmond will join the squad in Portugal.

A focus on development and the future is also being seen amongst the Westfield Matildas’ off field staff with an emphasis on growing the depth of female coaches.

Former Matilda Heather Garriock will join current Assistant Coach Gary van Egmond in an assistant role to Stajcic for the two training camps and the Algarve Cup.

Garriock is the first of a number of aspiring female coaches that will be given the opportunity to be part of the Westfield Matildas’ coaching staff on a rotational basis.

“Heather is one of the coaches but we’ll also have Mel Andreatta and Leah Blayney to start off the process of engaging more females in our national team environment,” said Stajcic.

Heather Garriock.“It’s a process of upskilling these high quality people with more experience at the highest level working with the top players in the country.”

“Heather is an energetic and enthusiastic person who has over 100 caps for her country and brings with her a wealth of experience. She was a really dynamic, aggressive, never say die type of personality on the field so she brings in a lot of personal characteristics but she’s also been coaching for a number of years so I’m sure she’ll add value to our setup and hopefully it will help further develop her as a coach as well.”

There are also changes among the medical staff, with Head Physiotherapist Kate Beerworth stepping aside after 10 years of service. Beerworth’s position will be filled by David Battersby, who has worked with the team for the past four years.

“Kate has been a massive contributor,” said Stajcic on Beerworth’s time with the Westfield Matildas.

Kate Beerworth.“Her work has been selfless, tireless, there have often been voids and gaps that have needed to be filled and her work certainly expanded into other areas of the team beyond her role of just being a physio.”

“Kate probably did the workload of two or three people and she was a great contributor to the Matildas over a long period of time so we thank her for everything she did and wish her all the best for whatever the future holds.”

Beerworth will not be entirely lost to FFA as she will continue to work behind the scenes with Head of Medical Dr Mark Jones on key research projects including the ACL injury prevention program.

Westfield Matildas squad for AIS training camp 15-17 February


Date of Birth


A International Caps (Goals)

Teigen Allen 12/02/1994 Melbourne City FC

39 (0)

Mackenzie Arnold (gk) 25/02/1994 Brisbane Roar FC

11 (0)

Ellie Carpenter 28/04/2000 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

5 (0)

Steph Catley 26/01/1994 Melbourne City FC

53 (2)

Emma Checker 11/03/1996 Canberra United

3 (0)

Alex Chidiac 15/01/1999 Adelaide United

1 (0)

Caitlin Cooper 12/02/1988 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

7 (1)

Lisa De Vanna 14/11/1984 Canberra United

117 (40)

Casey Dumont (gk) 25/01/1992 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

3 (0)

Caitlin Foord 11/11/1994 Sydney FC

50 (8)

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi 6/06/2001 Melbourne City FC

Emily Gielnik 13/05/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

9 (1)

Katrina Gorry 13/08/1992 Brisbane Roar FC

49 (13)

Amy Harrison 21/04/1996 Sydney FC

3 (0)

Michelle Heyman 4/07/1988 Canberra United

53 (20)

Alanna Kennedy 21/01/1995 Sydney FC

48 (2)

Sam Kerr 10/09/1993 Perth Glory

46 (8)

Chloe Logarzo 22/12/1994 Newcastle Jets

12 (0)

Grace Maher 18/04/1999 Canberra United

Jada Mathyssen-Whyman (gk) 24/10/1999 Western Sydney Wanderers FC

Clare Polkinghorne 1/02/1989 Brisbane Roar FC

92 (7)

Hayley Raso 5/09/1994 Canberra United

14 (1)

Gema Simon 19/07/1990 Newcastle Jets

5 (0)

Kyah Simon 25/06/1991 Sydney FC

70 (20)

Lydia Williams (gk) 13/05/1988 Melbourne City FC

57 (0)



Source : Football Federation Australia

AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 qualifiers draw

The Westfield Matildas celebrate scoring against New Zealand in a friendly last year.
Season's Greetings from the Westfield Matildas
The Westfield Matildas will discover their qualification opponents for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 on Saturday January 21.

The draw will be held in the host nation’s capital Amman at the Grand Hyatt.

There’ll be much interest in the draw after Australia have reached the last two finals where they were beaten in 2014 by Japan in Vietnam, but famously won the tournament four years earlier in China.

As part of the team’s preparation, Australia will compete in Portugal at the Algarve Cup 2017 in early March. There they’ve been drawn in Group C with China, Netherlands and Sweden.


Football Federation Australia

Matildas to compete in Algarve Cup

Kyah Simon fires a pass when the Westfield Matildas last played China in qualifying for the Rio Games.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Staff writer
The Westfield Matildas have been confirmed as one of the 12 teams who will take part in the Algarve Cup 2017 from 1-8 March.

The Algarve Cup is an international tournament held annually in the Portuguese region of Algarve. Hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation, the tournament has been running every year since 1994 and regularly featuring a host of the world’s best women’s football nations.

Australia has been drawn in Group C alongside the Netherlands, Sweden and China P.R. in the round robin format for what will be the Westfield Matildas’ first matches since the Rio Games.

“We received a late invitation to compete in the Algarve Cup,” said Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic.

“It’s a very prestigious tournament, it has been around for over 20 years now and a lot of the top countries in the world have found themselves there at one stage or another so it was an opportunity we didn’t want to pass up.

“Australia has only been there once before and to be drawn in a group alongside Sweden, Holland and China is exactly the reason we’re going – to play three top level teams and give our players the best experience against some of the best countries in the world.”

Australia’s only previous participation in the Algarve Cup came back in 1999 where they were also in Group C, but on that occasion none of the teams in that group were eligible to reach the Final.

This rule changed last year and the Westfield Matildas now find themselves in the main field, with the top two of the 12 teams to play off in the decider.

With no major tournament or qualifiers on the horizon, Stajcic will use the Algarve Cup to continue increasing the playing options he has at his disposal while also continuing to work on the symmetry of a squad consisting predominantly of players who are all still in their early twenties.

“The objective over the next two to three years is to build the depth of the squad, that’s the priority on top of course wanting to win every game we play,” said Stajcic.

“Going into Rio we had around 18 players we could use and I want to push that out to 25 to 30 over the next couple of years and have real genuine competition for spots.

“We’ll be using the games at the Algarve Cup to enhance that objective and really expose some players to some of the top nations in the world.

“I think the internal competition from having more depth will really drive this team further and into the top two or three in the world which is where we want to get to.”

Algarve Cup 2017

Countries (current FIFA world ranking)

Group A

Canada (4th)

Denmark (20th)

Portugal (40th)

Russia (22nd)

Group B

Iceland (16th)

Japan (8th)

Norway (11th)

Spain (14th)

Group C

Australia (7th)

China P.R. (13th)

Netherlands (12th)

Sweden (6th)

In 2015, Group C teams became eligible for the Final for the first time, which is now played between the two best group winners. If teams are tied on points, finishing positions will be determined by the following tie-breaking criteria in the following order:

number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question

goal difference in all the group matches

number of goals scored in all the group matches

fair-play ranking in all the group matches

FIFA ranking


Football Federation Australia

Westfield Matildas abroad: Sam Kerr and Chloe Logarzo sizzle

Sam Kerr celebrates scoring against Germany at the Rio Games.

Monday, 5 September 2016

John Greco @Grecs7
Westfield Matilda Sam Kerr scored a rocket in the US, while Chloe Logarzo set up her side’s winner in Sweden as our women continue to make a big impact on world football.

Kerr has continued her rich vein of form hitting an absolute stunner for Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Receiving the ball about 25 yards from goal, Kerr let the ball come across her body before unleashing a powerful shot into the top corner to give her side the lead against FC Kansas City.

Unfortunately the home side ran out 2-1 winners but Kerr’s goal was the standout of the match. Logarzo also played a key role for her club Eskilstuna United DFF, with a superb assist in their 1-0 win at Kristianstads. Surging down the left, Logarzo cut inside of a defender before picking out a team-mate with a pinpoint cross which was headed in at the far post.

In Korea, Racheal Quigley was the match-winner for Hwacheon KSPO, scoring the opening goal and setting up the other in their 2-0 win over Seoul Amazones. Gema Simon got through 90 minutes for her Korean club Suwon FMC as they lost 3-2 at Icheon Daekyo. Elsewhere, keeper Lydia Williams and Ellie Brush both played full matches for Houston Dash, as they beat Orlando Pride 4-2. Pride duo Laura Alleway and Steph Catley both missed the match through injury. It was a big win for Hayley Raso’s Portland Thorns, who crushed Kyah Simon’s Boston Breakers 5-1. Raso played 63 minutes for Portland, while Simon was substituted with 20 minutes left for the Breakers. Alanna Kennedy got through a full match for Western New York Flash as they drew 1-1 with Washington Spirit. Elise Kellond-Knight played 78 minutes for FFC Turbine Potsdam, as they opened their season in Germany with a 3-0 win at TSG Hoffenheim. Tameka Butt’s Mallbackens went down 4-0 against Goteborg, with the midfielder playing 90 minutes, while Eliza Campbell also playing a full match in Norway as her Klepp side lost 7-0 at Kolbotn.

Football Federation Australia



Lani Johnson joins the Matildas

Lani Johnson with the Matildas.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Staff writer
Foxtel All-Star Scholarship winner Lani Johnson enjoyed in the experience of a lifetime when she was personally invited by Westfield Matildas coach Alen Stajcic to join the team for their recent match against the New Zealand Ferns at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria.

“To be with the Westfield Matildas for three days was one of the coolest experiences ever. Getting to meet all the girls and see how they prepare for game day, coupled with being involved in their training session the day before was incredible. 

“It was an incredibly exciting experience to be able to train the Wesfield Matildas for a few days, and especially so close to such an important game. I’d like to thank coach Alen Stajic for organising this opportunity for me along with Foxtel and FFA for making this possible.  I had such an amazing time and made memories that will last forever.” – Lani Johnson

Absolutely no experience was missed. Staying at the team hotel, Lani was presented with the full official Westfield Matildas training kit (including Rio Games bags & ball!), had the chance to participate in a Matildas training session under the guidance of Coach Alen Stajcic and witness the preparation and lead up to the match against the Football Ferns.

She had full access to the Matildas locker room, lined up with the Westfield Matildas in the tunnel and walked onto the pitch with the team as they took the field.

Johnson also presented the official match ball to the referees just prior to kick off, plus enjoy a mentoring session with stars Westfield Matildas Michelle Heyman, Caitlin Cooper and Ellie Carpenter.


Football Federation Australia

Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas to share Jubilee Oval

The Socceroos and Matildas will utilise Sydney's Kogarah Oval.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Staff writer
Federal Member for Barton, Mr Nickolas Varvaris today announced that he has gained in principal support of the St George Illawarra Dragons to share UOW Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, and its facilities, with the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Football NSW (FNSW) are delighted with the recent announcement from Mr Varvaris and the benefits it would bring to the local area, which would include:

1. The NRL St George Illawarra Dragons will continue their current usage of UOW Jubilee Oval.

2. UOW Jubilee Oval will be shared with football. The NRL St George Illawarra Dragons will continue to have priority usage.

3. The Oval to be a preferred NSW training facility both for the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas.

4. The Oval to be a preferred venue for the Westfield Matildas when playing matches in NSW.

5. Visiting International Football teams may use the oval as a preferred training ground.

“I have been working on this initiative with all involved representatives to deliver this outstanding announcement for the St George area,” Nickolas Varvaris MP said.

“Such agreement would not only provide much needed attention to the St George area, it will be a great chance for local fans and fellow sporting enthusiasts to witness first hand their sporting heroes.

“Both Federal and State Governments have contributed considerable money to this facility with the intent of it being used by all codes

“This is an agreement I am seeking and have worked on with all involved for the previous 2 and a half years.

“I have chaired the Steering Committee overlooking the upgrades since these major works were undertaken, and I have always been a long-term supporter of these facilities to be used by as many local sporting and community groups as possible.”

FFA CEO Mr David Gallop said: “We are delighted that the Caltex Socceroos and Westfield Matildas may be able to use Jubilee Oval as a preferred training venue. This is a tremendous lift for football.”


Football Federation Australia

Westfield Matildas steady in latest FIFA rankings

Katrina Gorry on the ball against New Zealand in Melbourne.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Staff Writer
The Westfield Matildas have remained in 5th in the latest FIFA Women’s Rankings released yesterday.

Australia surged into the World’s top 5 back in March after a superb Olympic qualification campaign which saw Alen Stajcic’s side remain unbeaten to qualify for the Games.

The Aussies played a two-game friendly series against New Zealand earlier this month with the Matildas enjoying a 2-0 win in Ballarat before being held to a 1-1 draw in Melbourne three days later.

The Matildas are in camp at the AIS over the next fortnight ahead of the Rio Games in August.  The top nations in the latest rankings are USA in first, Germany in second and France in third.


Football Federation Australia

The Westfield Matildas will mentor girls from a range of different countries and backgrounds as part of Mikta 2016

The Westfield Matildas will mentor girls from a range of different countries and backgrounds as part of Mikta 2016.

Football’s ability to unite across gender and culture will be on full display as young Australian girls, from a range of countries and backgrounds, join together to improve their skills and meet the Westfield Matildas, Australia’s national female football team.

The girls will be mentored by members of the Westfield Matildas who are in the final stages of preparation for their Rio Games campaign.

Australia is chairing MIKTA in 2016, and to celebrate this milestone, the girls joining the Westfield Matildas will be drawn from diverse backgrounds including Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia.

MIKTA is an innovative new grouping led by Foreign Ministers. It brings these five influential but diverse countries together to work to advance the common interests of the international community.

FFA’s Head of International and Government Relations, Mark Falvo said “FFA is delighted to celebrate MIKTA through football – the common passion of these communities.

“Football is a genuine facilitator of unity across gender, culture and age all over the globe and this is the perfect illustration of the power of football.”

The Westfield Matildas will put the MIKTA community girls through the AIA Vitality MiniRoos for Girls program, training them in core football skills in a tailored, positive environment. “Our MiniRoos for Girls program is designed to provide a fun introductory experience and develop the skills of the next generation of Matildas who will come from a diverse range of backgrounds.” Mr Falvo said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in partnership with Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Red Elephant Projects are hosting the events in Sydney and Canberra for girls aged 5-12 from MIKTA communities.

Event Summary:

Canberra- MIKTA MiniRoos for Girls Football Day

Monday 27 June, 2016

12.30pm – 1.45pm

Australian Institute of Sport Canberra.


Sydney – MIKTA MiniRoos for Girls Football Day

Sunday 3 July, 2016

10.00am – 2.00pm

Webbs Ave Playing Fields, Chisholm Rd Auburn.

Football Federation Australia

The Westfield Matildas and New Zealand played out a 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium

The Westfield Matildas and New Zealand played out a 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium.

The Westfield Matildas have been held to a 1-1 draw by an impressive New Zealand at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night in the Aussie women’s farewell game before the Rio Olympics.

Aussie captain Lisa De Vanna’s excellent long-range strike cancelled out Katie Bowen’s deft lob with both goals scored in the second half.

De Vanna’s 39th goal for Australia denied the visitors a famous win in Melbourne, with New Zealand having last beaten the Matildas in 1994.

The draw saw Australia’s women stretch their undefeated streak to eight games.

The Matildas made four changes from their line-up in Ballarat with Lydia Williams, Laura Alleway, Emily van Egmond and Kyah Simon getting promoted.


The first half had plenty of intensity but both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances. New Zealand were much more competitive than on Saturday, with the two best opportunities falling their way. Abby Erceg’s flick-on from a corner just needed a team-mate at the back post to score, while Hannah Wilkinson should have done better when she shot straight at Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams. The Matildas finally forced a save in the 50th minute with Erin Nayler tipping Kyah Simon’s drive over the bar. But the Football Ferns continued to cause Australia problems – Erceg’s header crashed against the crossbar in the 55th minute. New Zealand deservedly took the lead 10 minutes later as Bowen smashed the ball over Williams and in off the crossbar.


Amber Hearn should have doubled the Kiwis’ lead in the 72nd minute but missed with Williams stranded and De Vanna made the visitors pay soon after, curling her shot inside the far post after cutting in from the right flank.

The home side thought they had clinched victory in the 86th minute but Michelle Heyman was offside, while Nayler made a top save to deny Laura Alleway in the final minute. The Matildas will regroup in Brazil in early July, with their Olympics campaign starting on August 3 against Canada. New Zealand will play their first game at Rio 2016 on the same day against world champions United States.


Football Federation Australia

Westfield Matildas primed to face Football Ferns


Having been in Ballarat since Monday, the Westfield Matildas will have a final training session at Morshead Park later this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated clash against New Zealand in the regional Victorian city.

In what is the first of two matches against the Football Ferns, Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic has reiterated the importance of the hit outs in his sides’ preparations for Rio.

“Every match is important but when it’s the only two matches you play before you get over there (to Brazil) it’s extremely important,” said Stajcic.

“We’re very fortunate that we’ve got a world class opponent on our doorstep and we’re thankful New Zealand have come over here for the two matches.”

The Football Ferns have also qualified for the Rio Games, meaning there is no shortage of motivation for players from both sides to put their best foot forward and strake their claim for a place in the final squad.

“They’ve got a good coach and a good squad who have been together now for a number of years,” said Stajcic of the Football Ferns.

“We played them in a training hit out in Vancouver just before the World Cup last year and it was really tight, and the last time we played them in an official international we beat them 3-2 in a really tough match in Auckland.

“They’re always tight battles but the most important part is that it’s great preparation for both teams before heading over to Rio.”

“It’s a friendly rivalry but a fierce rivalry. We’ve had a good relationship with the New Zealand football community for a long time but there will be no friends when we cross the white line tomorrow.”

Following tomorrow’s encounter in Ballarat, the Westfield Matildas and Football Ferns will face off again on Tuesday in a double header with the Caltex Socceroos’ clash with Greece at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, with these two matches set to be the final ones for the Westfield Matildas on home soil before they head to Brazil early next month.

With the Westfield Matildas’ overseas based contingent being available for the two matches, Stajcic said it was critical they made every opportunity count when they were all together.

“I think everything, from fine tuning the squad to working on team tactics, to players fighting for spots in the team, seeing who can play in these big occasions in the big moments, it’s a combination of all of those things,” said Stajcic on what he was aiming to get out of the two matches against the Football Ferns.

“It will be a wonderful occasion for our players and as a coach I can’t wait to see who is going to step up.”

A bumper crowd is expected at Morshead Park Stadium for tomorrow’s international following huge interest from the local Ballarat community in the lead up.

Gates at Morshead Park Stadium open at 1.30pm with kick-off at 3pm. Click here for ticketing details.

The match will be LIVE on FOX SPORTS (Channel 502) and ABC TV.

Football Federation Australia