Sam Kerr spearheads experienced Australia squad for home Fifa Women's World Cup | Inquirer Sports

Sam Kerr spearheads experienced Australia squad for home Fifa Women’s World Cup

/ 06:03 PM July 03, 2023

Sam Kerr

Australia’s soccer captain Sam Kerr answers questions during a press conference in Melbourne on July 3, 2023 after Australia named their squad for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 football tournament to be held in Australia and New Zealand. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

Star striker Sam Kerr spearheaded Australia’s most experienced ever women’s World Cup squad named Monday, with veterans Lydia Williams and Clare Polkinghorne set to play at their fifth tournament.

Fresh from guiding Chelsea to a fourth consecutive Women’s Super League title, Kerr, who has scored 63 goals in 120 Australian appearances, will don the captain’s armband as they look to go beyond the quarter-finals for the first time.

The Arsenal pair of defender Steph Catley and forward Caitlin Foord were also named among nine players who have been capped more than 100 times.

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Centurions Williams and Polkinghorne — stalwarts since their making their debuts 17 years ago — will become the first Australian players, male or female, to appear at five World Cups.

Four players — Kerr, Foord, Emily van Egmond and Tameka Yallop – will be at their fourth tournament.

“These 23 players not only exemplify what it means to be a part of the tradition of the Matildas, but also what it means to represent the 25 million Australians we know are fully behind us,” said coach Tony Gustavsson.

“They have the heart, desire and the passion for the crest, and I can’t wait to see the next part of their story.”

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Fifteen of the squad were part of the 2019 campaign when Australia were knocked out on the round of 16, while seven are in line to make their tournament debuts.

The Matildas face France in a final warm-up game on July 14 at a sold-out Marvel Stadium in Melbourne before meeting Ireland to kick off the tournament they co-host with New Zealand on July 20 in Sydney.

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Eleven-time African champions Nigeria and reigning Olympic gold medallists Canada are also in Group B.

Australia squad:

Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams (Brighton/ENG), Teagan Micah (FC Rosengard/SWE), Mackenzie Arnold (West Ham United/ENG)

Defenders: Clare Polkinghorne (Vittsjo GIK/SWE), Steph Catley (Arsenal/ENG), Alanna Kennedy (Manchester City/ENG), Ellie Carpenter (Olympique Lyon/FRA), Charlotte Grant (Vittsjo GIK/SWE), Clare Hunt (Western Sydney Wanderers), Courtney Nevin (Leicester City/ENG), Aivi Luik (BK Hacken/SWE)

Midfielders: Emily van Egmond (San Diego Wave/USA), Tameka Yallop (SK Brann/NOR), Katrina Gorry (Vittsjo GIK/SWE), Alex Chidiac (Racing Louisville/USA), Kyra Cooney-Cross (Hammarby/SWE), Clare Wheeler (Everton/ENG)

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Forwards: Mary Fowler (Manchester City/ENG), Sam Kerr (Chelsea/ENG), Hayley Raso (unattached), Caitlin Foord (Arsenal/ENG), Kyah Simon (unattached), Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC)

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TAGS: Fifa Women’s World Cup

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