From Canberra United to the Matildas: Roestbakken’s rise to FIFA Women’s World Cup squad

It’s an exciting time for Karly Roestbakken, who has gone from training with the Future Matildas program in Sydney to making the dash to France to be a part of Australia’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup squad.

An unfortunate injury to defender Laura Alleway has opened the door for the versatile Roestbakken to be called into Ante Milicic’s 23-player squad.


The call-up completes a dream few months for the Canberra United youngster, who was a key member of the Westfield Young Matildas squad that in April booked their spot in 2019 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship.

“Karly was consistently one of our best players this past season so to see her get this call-up is really great news,” Canberra United coach Heather Garriock said.

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Roestbakken
Roestbakken was nominated for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year for 2018/19

“The injury to Laura [Alleway] is a big shame and I wish her all the best, but I look forward to seeing Karly take this incredible chance with both hands.”

While she is just 18, Roestbakken has been consistently building to a spot in the Matildas squad for the last few years.


She just completed her third season in the Westfield W-League with United, consolidating her status as one of the club’s most reliable performers.

Her form in the 2018/19 Season went to even greater heights, resulting in a nomination for the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award.

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Despite her tender years, Roestbakken has already become a vital player in the United side.

Perhaps the best example of her influence on Garriock’s squad came during the recent campaign, where she was absent for the vital clash with Brisbane Roar which could have helped the club reach the finals.

Without the classy defender, Canberra were humbled 4-1 and their Finals Series hopes were dashed.

Karly Roestbakken
Karly Roestbakken in action for the Young Matildas

She returned to help the side end the campaign with a goalless draw against Premiers Melbourne Victory, further proof of the adaptable defender’s ability to inspire those around her.

Now, Roestbakken could potentially play a role for the Matildas against the world’s best in France.

Exciting times for this new face in the national team.

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The Matildas open their World Cup campaign against Italy on Sunday night at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes, kicking off at 9pm (AEST).

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