Are you ready? The FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ is almost with us, with just 14 days to go until the action gets underway at Parc des Princes in Paris.
The opening fixture will see hosts France take on Korea Republic at 9.00pm local time on 7 June (5.00am, 8 June, AEST), with the Westfield Matildas in action for the first time when they face Italy in Valenciennes on 9 June at 1.00pm local time (9.00pm AEST).
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Football coaches often talk about the blend of youth and experience needed to win trophies – and the Westfield Matildas have both in spades.
Fourteen members of Ante Milicic's France 2019 squad bring with them experience from being part of the set-up at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™, while defender Teigen Allen played her part in the 2011 tournament in Germany but did not travel to North America last time out.
With almost 1,300 caps worth of international experience across the squad, including three players – Lydia Williams, Clare Polkinghorne and Lisa De Vanna – who are heading into their fourth World Cup with the national side, coach Milicic is delighted with the blend of youth and experience at his disposal.
“This is a special group of Australian footballers," he said. "Because as a unit they have accumulated a wealth of international experience despite the average age of the team being quite young.”
The 14 players who were in the squad at Canada 2015 are: Lydia Williams, Clare Polkinghorne, Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Caitlin Foord, Emily van Egmond, Lisa De Vanna, Tameka Yallop, Alanna Kennedy, Hayley Raso, Mackenzie Arnold, Katrina Gorry and Sam Kerr.
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FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ – Group C – Australia Matches
Australia v Italy
Date: Sunday, 9 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes
Kick-off: 9.00pm AEST (1.00pm local time, same day)
Australia v Brazil
Date: Friday, 14 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Kick-off: 2.00am AEST (6.00pm local time, Thursday 13 June)
Jamaica v Australia
Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019 (AEST)
Venue: Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Kick-off: 5.00am AEST (9.00pm local time, Tuesday 18 June)
Click below to #GetOnside for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ in Australia