Westfield Matildas squad: Attackers

Alen Stajcic has finalised a 21-player squad brimming with top-quality forward options for the Westfield Matildas' defence of their Tournament of Nations title.

Much of the group has become well known to fans over the course of recent years.

Here’s a look at all forwards who have made the cut in the Westfield Matildas squad for the Tournament of Nations, including 15-year-old striker Mary Fowler - a late inclusion ahead of the three games in the United States.


Age: 23

Caps: 27

Debut: Friendly v New Zealand on 24 June 2012

Clubs played for: Canberra United, Brisbane Roar, Washington Spirit, Melbourne Victory, Portland Thorns, Brisbane Roar

Her 2018 so far:

After the incredible heights of 2017, this year has been a frustrating one for Raso.

The young forward led Portland Thorns to the NWSL Championship in 2017 and quickly became a fan favourite after racking up six goals and three assists.

She returned to Australian shores on loan with Brisbane Roar for the 2017/18 campaign and would collect another piece of silverware - leading the club to their third Premiership.

However, injury has been niggling away at Raso all the while. She sustained an injury to her left knee while playing for Roar and then suffered a lateral collateral ligament tear on her right during the AFC Asian Cup in April.

That sidelined Raso for eight weeks and has restricted her impact for the Thorns to just four appearances this season as she just recently returned to action.

A speedy winger, who can also play as a fullback, Raso has a knack for beating players for pace and will look to make up for lost time when she takes the field for Australia at the Tournament of Nations.

Hayley Raso Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 27

Caps: 81

Debut: Friendly v Hong Kong, August 2007

Clubs played for: Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Boston Breakers, Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC, Melbourne City, Houston Dash

Her 2018 so far:

Simon started all 14 fixtures for Melbourne City in the 2017/18 season as Patrick Kisnorbo’s side claimed back to back Westfield W-League Championships.

She contributed two goals and five assists to the Melbourne cause throughout the year but her campaign was somewhat soured by a hamstring injury picked up in City's Grand Final win.

That would rule Simon out of participating in the Westfield Matildas’ Algrave Cup campaign, but she made two starts and five appearances in total at the AFC Asian Cup, offering a return of two assists and one goal.

Following the dissolution of the Boston Breakers ahead of the 2018 NWSL season, Simon joined Houston Dash in February and netted her first goal in a 1-1 draw with Portland Thorns on 9 May.

In total, she’s scored eight goals in eight appearances for the Dash – who currently are seventh on the table.

One of the most experienced and reliable components of the Westfield Matildas' squad, Simon has scored 24 goals in 81 matches for Australia, and her propensity as a big-game player will no doubt come to the fore as the side defend their Tournament of Nations crown.

Kyah Simon Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 24

Caps: 67

Debut: Friendly v Italy, February 2009

Clubs played for: Perth Glory, Sydney FC, Western New York Flash, Sky Blue FC, Chicago Red Stars

Her 2018 so far:

The awards and accolades have kept on coming for Kerr in 2018.

The striker had claimed every individual award possible in following her record-breaking NWSL season with Sky Blue FC in 2017. Kerr returned the home soil with Perth Glory for the 2017/18 Westfield W-League season and would be named Young Australian of the Year in January.

It was just reward for the Perth-born striker, who has developed into the figurehead and one of the main drivers of the Westfield Matildas' recent on field successes. 

She would score 13 goals in nine appearances for the Glory during the league campaign and received the 2017/18 Julie Dolan medal alongside Westfield Matildas' teammate Clare Polkingorne.

Kerr shone at AFC Women's Asian Cup, grabbing three goals for Australia, and was recently named PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year for the second year in a row, becoming the first female player to claim back-to-back awards.

She also scooped third place in the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2018 after votes from thousands of fans from around the world. Kerr earned an ESPYS (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) award, voted the Best International Women’s Soccer Player. 

The 24-year-old is currently on the books of Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL and has claimed five goals and two assists to help the Red Stars into fourth position on the ladder this season. She recently scored a hat-trick in a league match against Sky Blue to become the first NWSL player to reach 50 goals.

Sam Kerr Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 33

Caps: 137

Debut: Friendly v New Zealand, 2004

Clubs played for: Adelaide Sensation, Western Waves, Doncaster Rovers Belles, AIK, Perth Glory, Washington Freedom, Brisbane Roar, magicJack, Newcastle Jets, Linkoping, Sky Blue FC, Melbourne Victory, Boston Breakers, Washington Spirit, Melbourne City, North Shore Mariners, Orlando Pride, Canberra United, South Melbourne, Sydney FC

Her 2018 so far:

One of the most experienced heads in the Westfield Matildas' ranks,  Lisa De Vanna continued to show her value to the Australian set up in 2018.

The veteran striker claimed six goals and four assists with Sydney FC during the Westfield W-League season as the Sky Blues narrowly missed out on the Premiership to Brisbane Roar.

De Vanna also featured four times in the AFC Women's Asian Cup, and scored a brace in Australia’s 5-0 friendly win over Thailand in March.

She has since returned to South Melbourne in the NPL Victoria and scored three goals in six appearances for the competition leaders.

Lisa De Vanna Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 23

Caps: 60

Debut: Friendly v New Zealand on 12 May 2011

Clubs played for: NSWIS, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Sky Blues FC, Perth Glory, Vegalta Sendai Ladies, Portland Thorns

Her 2018 so far:

Foord is back in the Westfield Matildas squad for the first time after injury scuppered the early part of her year.

In superb form for Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League, the classy attacker suffered a foot injury in the club’s epic semi-final win over the Newcastle Jets.

Not only did Foord miss the Sky Blues’ Grand Final defeat to Melbourne City but she was also ruled out of the Westfield Matildas’ Algarve Cup and AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaigns.

Now back to full fitness, Foord will add goals, speed and versatility to Alen Stajcic’s squad.

Caitlin Foord Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 26

Caps: 18

Debut: Friendly v Japan, 2012 

Clubs played for: Brisbane Roar, Liverpool FC, Ottawa Fury, Urawa Red Diamonds, Avaldsnes

Her 2018 so far:

Gielnik is another member of the Westfield Matildas' squad to struggle with injury this year, but it hasn’t stopped her from making an impact on both the domestic and national stage.

She managed two goals in eight starts for Brisbane Roar during the Westfield W-League season as the Roar claimed their third Premiership, but an ankle injury sustained in the final series came as a cruel blow for both club and player.

That would rule Gielnik out of Australia’s Algarve Cup campaign, but she was recalled for the AFC Asian Cup in Jordan and had a hand in the Westfield Matildas’ opening goal in their semi-final victory over Thailand.

Emily Gielnik Westfield W-League highlights


Age: 15 

Caps: 0

Debut: n/a

Clubs played for: Illawarra Stingrays, Bankstown City Lions

Her 2018 so far:

It's been a whirlwind of a 2018 for teen striker Fowler.

Mary Fowler in action for the Westfield Young Matildas against Thailand in the AFF Women's Championship final
Mary Fowler in action for the Westfield Young Matildas against Thailand in the AFF Women's Championship final

Fresh off her 15th birthday earlier in the year, she debuted for the Westfield Young Matildas in a March friendly against Thailand Under-19s. Quickly impressing Alen Stajcic, Fowler - who is of Irish and Papua New Guinean descent - has since been involved in the Future Matildas program and travelled to the AFF Women's Championship in Indonesia.

It was in Indonesia where Fowler set the tournament alight, scoring 10 goals in six games to earn the top scorer gong as the Westfield Young Matildas finished second to Thailand's senior women's national team.

“Over the last six or seven months we’ve been tracking Mary and she’s shown the ability to find the back of the net," declared Stajcic after Fowler's call up to the Tournament of Nations squad.

"Both with her left and right foot, in and around the penalty box, Mary’s ability to find space in tight areas is the best I’ve seen for a young player her age."