Westfield Young Matildas set for ASEAN challenge

The Westfield Young Matildas have named their squad that will compete in the AFF Women’s Championship 2013 in Myanmar over the coming fortnight.

The Westfield Young Matildas will compete in the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Women-s Championship 2013 in Myanmar over the coming fortnight as preparations for next month-s FIFA U-20 Women-s World Cup qualifiers gather momentum.

Australia-s U-19 representatives will face the senior national teams of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and invitational side Jordan in Group A of the ten-nation tournament. Group B includes Myanmar, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and a Japan U-23 side.

Australia coach Spencer Prior, who has a 20-strong squad at his disposal, says the rigorous competition is critical ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship.

“The AFF is very important in the development of our young footballers,” he said. “This gives the girls more opportunities to get seriously competitive games under their belt.

“The competition is excellent for the Westfield Young Matildas given we-ll be playing against both the Thailand and Vietnam senior teams, one of whom will likely qualify for the World Cup in 2015. We also have a fantastic opportunity, should we progress through the group stage, of playing against Japan U-23's who have bought players that have represented the senior Japanese team.

“I believe the main strength of this team lies within the culture that is around the program. Players and staff are all pulling in the same direction, with the main focus on qualifiers in China in October. We have some very creative individual players that are encouraged to express themselves, and as a team they play a very pro-active, possession based brand of football.”

Westfield Young Matildas Squad

Goalkeepers: Mackenzie Arnold, Eliza Campbell

Defenders: Rachel Soutar, Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Grace Field, Emma Checker, Sally Rojahn, Elizabeth Ralston, Natasha Wheeler, Sarah Carroll

Midfielders: Chloe Logarzo, Natalie Tobin, Olivia Price, Amy Harrison, Melissa Caceres, Alisha Bass

Forwards: Hayley Raso, Brittany Whitfield, Tara Andrews, Meg McLaughlin

AFF Women-s Championship 2013 (9-22 September) Mandalay, Myanmar 11 September v Malaysia 13 September v Jordan 15 September v Thailand 17 September v Vietnam 20 September - Semi-finals 22 September - Finals

The top three nations at next month-s AFC U-19 Championship in China will qualify for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women-s World Cup which will be held in Canada, also hosts for the 2015 FIFA Women-s World Cup.