Alex Chidiac named in Westfield Matildas squad for AFC Women's Asian Cup

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic has confirmed his final 23-player squad for next month’s 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan, plus next Monday’s international friendly match against Thailand at nib Stadium in Perth.

The Westfield Matildas will commence a two-week preparatory camp in Western Australia later today as the Westfield Matildas sharpen their focus towards Jordan 2018 – a tournament which will also serve as Asia’s qualification process for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in France.

Recently the Westfield Matildas finished fourth at the 12-team Algarve Cup in Portugal despite missing numerous key players due to injury.

Positively, Kyah Simon, Emily Gielnik, Steph Catley, and Hayley Raso have each been included by Stajcic in his final 23 despite missing out on either traveling to, or playing match minutes in, Portugal.

Stajcic’s squad also includes a return to the Westfield Matildas for Melbourne City FC’s Aivi Luik. Luik last represented Australia at senior women’s international level in 2015, however after impressing for City throughout their recent Championship winning Westfield W-League campaign, the well-travelled midfielder has earned a recall to the green and gold.

While the Westfield Matildas will need to overcome some stern opposition in Jordan if they are to lift the AFC Women’s Asian Cup trophy for the second time in their history, the team should enter the tournament with the utmost belief given the international experience and know-how at their disposal.

Alex Chidiac vs Western Sydney


Indeed, Stajcic’s 23-player squad currently has 1,108 ‘A’ international caps between them, at an average of just over 48 caps per player.

Stajcic is looking forward to the upcoming tournament and believes the players are focussed on the challenge ahead.

“The AFC Women’s Asian Cup is the major tournament on our calendar this year and will also be serving as a FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier so there is plenty at stake,” said Stajcic

“The players have set themselves specific goals for the Asian Cup which is one of the three major international tournaments along with the FIFA Women’s World Cup & Olympics.

“We have a good fortnight in Perth before we head to Jordan which allows us to prepare for the tournament in ideal conditions.

“Looking to the tournament, we certainly do not underestimate any of our opposition. The Korea Republic have made great improvements in recent times and Japan are the defending champions so there will be definitely no complacency on our part.

“We are also all looking forward to playing our first ever match in Perth against Thailand which should be a good challenge and will allow us to see how we are tracking leading into the tournament,” concluded Stajcic.

The Westfield Matildas will play Japan, Korea Republic and Vietnam in Group B of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. The top five teams at the tournament will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the top two teams in each group will advance to the semi-final stage.

An important part of the Westfield Matildas’ preparation for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will occur next Monday when the team hosts Thailand in Perth. The match will go down in history as the Westfield Matildas’ debut match in Western Australia.

The Western Australian State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries is a major supporter of the Westfield Matildas stay in Western Australia. Sport and recreation builds stronger, healthier, happier and safer communities.

Tickets to the fixture, which start at $10 for children and $20 for adults, are on sale now. The match will also be shown live on FOX SPORTS and SBS VICELAND.

The 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will be held in Amman, Jordan between 6 to 20 April.

Westfield Matildas 23-player squad for the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Jordan

Shirt Number

Name

Club/Country

A-International Caps (Goals)

1.

Lydia WILLIAMS (gk)

Melbourne City FC, Australia / Seattle Reign, USA

65 (0)

2.

Caitlin COOPER

Sydney FC, Australia

9 (2)

3.

Aivi LUIK

Melbourne City FC, Australia

16 (0)

4.

Clare POLKINGHORNE

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

101 (8)

5.

Laura ALLEWAY

Melbourne Victory, Australia

52 (2)

6.

Chloe LOGARZO

Sydney FC, Australia

24 (3)

7.

Steph CATLEY

Melbourne City FC, Australia / Seattle Reign, USA

63 (2)

8.

Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT

Uncontracted

90 (1)

9.

Alex CHIDIAC

Adelaide United, Australia

7 (0)

10.

Emily VAN EGMOND

Newcastle Jets, Australia / Orlando Pride, USA

69 (14)

11.

Lisa DE VANNA

Sydney FC, Australia

132 (43)

12.

Casey DUMONT (gk)

Melbourne Victory, Australia

3 (0)

13.

Tameka BUTT

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Klepp IL, Norway

64 (9)

14.

Alanna KENNEDY

Melbourne City FC, Australia / Orlando Pride, USA

63 (3)

15.

Emily GIELNIK

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia

15 (4)

16.

Hayley RASO

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Portland Thorns, USA

22 (1)

17.

Kyah SIMON

Melbourne City FC, Australia / Houston Dash, USA

78 (22)

18.

Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk)

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Arna Bjornar FC, Norway

17 (0)

19.

Katrina GORRY

Brisbane Roar FC, Australia / Utah Royals, USA

63 (14)

20.

Samantha KERR

Perth Glory, Australia / Chicago Red Stars, USA

61 (21)

21.

Ellie CARPENTER

Canberra United, Australia / Portland Thorns, USA

16 (1)

22.

Larissa CRUMMER

Melbourne City FC, Australia

19 (3)

23.

Michelle HEYMAN

Canberra United, Australia

59 (20)


Upcoming Matches

Westfield Matildas v Thailand (International Friendly)
Date:
 Monday, 26 March 2018
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth, Australia
Kick-off: 6pm (local) / 9pm (AEDT)
Tickets: matildas.footballaustralia.com.au
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS and SBS VICELAND

Westfield Matildas v Korea Republic (2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup – Group Stage)
Date: Saturday, 7 April 2018
Venue: King Abdullah Stadium II, Amman, Jordan
Kick-off: 8pm (local), 3am (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and Exclusive on FOX SPORTS

Vietnam v Westfield Matildas (2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup – Group Stage)
Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Venue: Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan
Kick-off: 8pm (local), 3am (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and Exclusive on FOX SPORTS

Japan v Westfield Matildas (2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup – Group Stage)
Date: Friday, 13 April 2018
Venue: Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan
Kick-off: 4.45pm (local), 11:45pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: Live and Exclusive on FOX SPORTS