Analysis: Westield W-League young guns handed international opportunity

Alen Stajcic is continuing to invest in the future with three exceptional young talents chosen in the Westfield Matildas squad for a crucial run of matches over the next two months.

Amy Sayer, Princess Ibini and Mary Fowler will form part of the squad that meets France and England in Europe prior to a home double header against Chile in November.

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Two were involved at the Tournament of Nations earlier this year and with a FIFA Women's World Cup™ on the horizon, it will be fascinating to track their progress across the next four fixtures.

Here, we looked at why each player has been fast-tracked into the senior setup, where they will be aiming to compete for a place in the squad come next June.

Amy Sayer

Not unlike club team-mate Ellie Carpenter – the last teenager to cement a spot with the Westfield Matildas – Sayer's versatility is a valuable commodity when it comes to picking squads for international tournaments.

And the 16-year-old has already identified a place at France 2019 as her "ultimate goal" in the infancy of a career that promises plenty.

Most comfortable either as an advanced playmaker or shielding the defence, the midfielder can fill a variety of roles thanks to the "physical and technical tools" she possesses. 

It's little wonder why the provider of that assessment, head coach Stajcic, believes further development can lead to an international career.

An excellent debut season in the Westfield W-League convinced him of that much, Sayer having featured 10 times and scored once for Canberra United.

An equally impressive run of performances for the Young Matildas suggests she will soon feel at home in the green and gold.

Amy Sayer

Princess Ibini

Few players have been burdened with such early expectations as 18-year-old Ibini.

With a Caltex Socceroo for a brother – she and Bernie are the first siblings to reach the highest echelon of Australian football – and after making her Westfield W-League debut at 15, the electrifying forward has long excited onlookers.

In response, her level of involvement at senior level both domestically and internationally has been measured so as not to overload the prodigious Sydney FC attacker.

But it's impossible to deny the talents that last year led Craig Foster to describe Ibini as potentially "one of the best" players in world football.

Quick and direct, it's easy to see how she fits into a Westfield Matildas front three built around the blistering pace of Sam Kerr, Lisa De Vanna and Caitlin Foord.

Alen Stajcic recognised that promise with a call-up for the Tournament of Nations in 2017 and Ibini now has the chance to prove she's ready for a longer stint in the setup.

After 12 starts and two goals last season – her best return on both fronts – it seems that could become a reality.

Princess Ibini

Mary Fowler

While fellow forward Ibini is perhaps best in wide positions, North Queensland product Fowler does her best work in the penalty box.

It's an innate eye for goal that led to an unexpected Westfield Matildas call-up and subsequent debut.

That came at age 15 in the recent Tournament of Nations and Fowler has another chance to demonstrate her scoring prowess in this next camp.

Her ability to hit the back of the net with regularity, and with both feet, has been witnessed to devastating effect for the Young Matildas.

"Mary's ability to find space in tight areas is the best I've seen for a kid her age," Stajcic said upon selecting the striker in July.

Having debuted at the same age as Sam Kerr, it seems unwise to count against Fowler in her aim of becoming the best in the world.