Glimpse at ‘generation next’ for home training camp

Westfield Matildas Head Coach Alen Stajcic has brought together 18 Australian based players for a training camp at the AIS in Canberra ahead of the 2017 Tournament of Nations in the USA.

With many of the Westfield Matildas’ household names currently playing in leagues overseas during the Westfield W-League off season, Stajcic selected seven aspiring uncapped youngsters for the camp in Canberra which will conclude on Friday.

Kyra Cooney-Cross, Princess Ibini, Grace Maher, Karly Roestbakken, Alyssa Rose, Remy Siemsen and goalkeeper Eliza Campbell have all been invited into the Westfield Matildas setup as Stajcic casts his eye over some of the best young talent coming through.

Siemsen was named the NAB Young Player of the Year in the Westfield W-League last season, while Roestbakken became one of the youngest ever scorers in the Westfield W-League when she scored for Canberra United at the age of 15 back in 2016.

Victorian Kyra Cooney-Cross and Alyssa Rose have both come through the ranks of the Westfield Junior Matildas (Australian U-17 squad), while Princess Ibini and Grace Maher have also been involved in youth national teams and previously attended Westfield Matildas training camps.

This host of young talent also includes the likes of teenagers Ellie Carpenter and Alex Chidiac, who already have senior international caps to their names.

Westfiedl Matildas young gun Ellie Carpenter.

As well as the excitement that these young wide-eyed players bring to the group, this sprinkling of youth is also sure to energise the more seasoned campaigners in the camp such as Lisa De Vanna, Clare Polkinghorne, Michelle Heyman and Emily van Egmond, who is currently back in Australia until the start of pre season commences with her German club VfL Wolfsburg.

“We’ve got 18 players playing overseas so this camp is a good opportunity to bring some local players in who have been on the fringe and let them experience the environment and demands of national team camp,” said Stajcic.

“Having them be able to train and mix it with some of the more senior players is really beneficial as it is part of the strategy of evolving our team culture and improving our leadership within the group.”

Of the established names, striker Kyah Simon is a notable absentee from the camp as she continues her recovery from off season shoulder surgery.

The Westfield Matildas squad for the Tournament of Nations is scheduled to be announced on Monday 17 July with the Australian based players selected in the squad to depart for the USA on 21 July.

The Tournament of Nations, which will see the Westfield Matildas take on fellow top 10 women’s football nations the USA, Japan and Brazil, begins on 27 July in Seattle. CLICK HERE for more details.

Westfield Matildas squad for AIS training camp 11-14 July 2017  
Name Date of Birth A International Caps (Goals)
Mackenzie Arnold (gk) 25/02/1994 11 (0)
Eliza Campbell (gk) 16/05/1995 -
Ellie Carpenter 28/04/2000 5 (0)
Alex Chidiac 15/01/1999 1 (0)
Kyra Cooney-Cross 15/02/2002 -
Caitlin Cooper 12/02/1988 7 (1)
Lisa De Vanna 14/11/1984 117 (40)
Casey Dumont (gk) 25/01/1992 3 (0)
Amy Harrison 21/04/1996 3 (0)
Michelle Heyman 4/07/1988 53 (20)
Princess Ibini 31/01/2000 -
Grace Maher 18/04/1999 -
Clare Polkinghorne 1/02/1989 92 (7)
Karly Roestbakken 17/01/2001 -
Alyssa Rose 15/10/2001 -
Remy Siemsen 10/11/1999 -
Gema Simon 19/07/1990 5 (0)
Emily van Egmond 12/07/1993 57 (14)