Melbourne City FC will have six representatives in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup squad in Jordan after Head Coach Alen Stajcic announced his 23-player squad on Monday.
Regulars Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, Kyah Simon, Alanna Kennedy and Larissa Crummer have made the squad while Aivi Luik has been rewarded for her stellar Championship-winning season, picking up her first national team selection since 2015.
Stajcic has opted for experience in the journey for The Matildas’ second Asian Cup title, saying he’s confident his side can go all the way in Jordan.
“The AFC Women’s Asian Cupis 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,”
The 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 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 Matildas’ debut match in Western Australia.