It’s the start of an exciting new cycle for the Commonwealth Bank Matildas, with Head Coach Tony Gustavsson selecting a 25-player squad featuring familiar favourites, fresh faces and long-awaited returns.
Ahead of their first clash post-Tokyo, Gustavsson yesterday announced the 25-player squad set to take on the Republic of Ireland on September 22.
Among the familiar faces of those who were in Tokyo, are some new faces and previous players who are back in the mix!
Amy Harrison, Emma Checker, and Jenna McCormick all return to camp; Harrison and Checker both featured in camps earlier this year while McCormick returns for the first time since 2020.
The trio all play in Europe with Amy Harrison and her Dutch side PSV, just beginning their season. Checker has been playing in defence for Selfoss in Iceland, while McCormick recently moved to Danish side AGF.
Checker and McCormick know each other well, having spent the most recent W-League season together in City blue.
These players will be joined by a host of W-League talent, with a particular focus on defenders such as Angie Beard, Winonah Heatley, and Jamilla Rankin all being named.
Beard, currently plying her trade for Danish side Fortuna Hjørring alongside three other Aussies, led Melbourne Victory to the most recent W-League championship. Rankin and Heatley were teammates at Brisbane Roar, helping their side to a semi-final.
For Rankin, the call up has been surreal.
“It was crazy. It was surreal. I couldn’t believe it,” Rankin told Brisbane Roar.
“It took a while to sink in. I told my parents and they were really happy for me and proud that all the hard work is paying off. I think it will be a big step up, but a good opportunity to test myself, compare myself and see where I’m at.
“I’m happy to be there.”
All three have impressed as fullbacks with their ability attack, a trait Gustavsson rates highly.
The final new face is forward Remy Siemsen. A Sky Blue favourite, she scored seven goals in 14 games in the most recent W-League season. A former youth international, Siemsen has the opportunity to impress with Caitlin Foord unavailable due to injury.
“I am ecstatic, over the moon and so excited this truly is the realisation of a lifetime goal and dream - just so, so excited!” Siemsen told Sydney FC.
“I think it’s come down to constantly working hard and not ever giving up on that dream - lots of extra training and hard work.”
Five players are in line to make their Commonwealth Bank Matildas debut: Angie Beard, Winonah Heatley, Jamilla Rankin, Remy Siemsen, and Charli Grant.
Grant, who was in the squad for the June friendlies and went to Tokyo, has yet to take the field and make her senior debut. The defender recently made another debut, in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with her club side FC Rosengård.
The squad also features 18 of the 22 players who finished fourth at Tokyo 2020. The Commonwealth Bank Matildas take on Ireland in Dublin on September 22.
Republic of Ireland v Commonwealth Bank Matildas
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
Venue: Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
Kick Off: 4:00am (AEST)
Broadcast: Live and free on 10 and simulcast on 10 Play. Pre-game coverage from 3.30am AEST.
Please note that all dates & times listed are AEST. Kick-off in Rep. of Ireland is on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 at 7:00pm local time.