Australia go for experience as women's World Cup squad named

Sydney (AFP) –


Australia named a vastly experienced 23-player squad Tuesday for the women's World Cup in France, as the Matildas chase a maiden title.

Coach Ante Milicic's playing squad has a combined 1,276 international caps, with four of his charges preparing for their fourth campaign at the showcase tournament.

"This is a special group of Australian footballers because, as a unit, they have accumulated a wealth of international experience despite the average age of the team being quite young," Milicic said.

Ranked sixth in the world, the Matildas have been consistent performers on the international stage, reaching the World Cup quarter-finals three times.

But with a "golden generation" reaching their playing peak, they will hope to go deep into the tournament starting in France next month, where they are in a tough group including Brazil, Italy and Jamaica.

They will be captained by Sam Kerr, twice short-listed for FIFA player of the year, who is lacing up for her third World Cup at the age of just 25.

Milicic praised the depth of the squad, more than half of whom play professionally in the United States.

"I believe we will have genuine competition for starting positions across all areas of the pitch," he said.

Australia (1-23): Lydia Williams (Seattle Reign/USA), Gema Simon (Newcastle Jets), Aivi Luik (Levante/ESP), Clare Polkinghorne (Houston Dash/USA), Laura Alleway (Melbourne Victory), Chloe Logarzo (Washington Spirit/USA), Steph Catley (Seattle Reign/USA), Elise Kellond-Knight (Seattle Reign/USA), Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns/USA), Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride/USA), Lisa de Vanna (Sydney FC), Teagan Micah (UCLA/USA), Tameka Yallop (Klepp/NOR), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride/USA), Emily Gielnik (Melbourne Victory), Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns/USA), Mary Fowler (Bankstown City), Mackenzie Arnold (Brisbane Roar), Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar), Sam Kerr (capt, Chicago Red Stars/USA), Ellie Carpenter (Portland Thorns/USA), Amy Harrison (Washington Spirit/USA), Teigen Allen (Melbourne Victory).