Your Westfield Matildas 2019 World Cup squad guide: Forwards

The FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ is almost upon us and Ante Milicic has announced his 23-player squad.

Here's a guide to the forwards picked to represent the Westfield Matildas in France.

HOW TO WATCH: The FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ in Australia 
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COMING NEXT: Australia re-affirms bid to host FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 

Lisa De Vanna scores for Australia against Korea Republic in March 2019
A familiar sight for opposition defenders, as Lisa De Vanna turns away, with the ball in the back of the net

9. Caitlin Foord

Date of birth: 11 November 1994 (24 years old)
Caps: 71
Debut: Friendly v New Zealand on 12 May 2011 in Gosford (3-0 win)
Clubs played for: NSWIS, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Sky Blue FC (USA), Perth Glory, Vegalta Sendai Ladies (JPN), Portland Thorns (USA)
Previous World Cups: 2011, 2015

Her 2019 so far:

It's is hard to believe Caitlin Foord is only 24, as she looks forward to her third World Cup in Australia's front line.

An ever-present goalscoring threat in attack now after being shifted around in the early part of her international career, Foord has played herself into form in 2019.

With 10 goals from 18 shots on target in the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season, she showcased her predatory instincts to lead her side to the Championship.

The attacker then arrived in the NWSL and instantly made an impact, picking up a goal and assist in Portland's opening win over Orlando.

Two goals in the Westfield Matildas last two matches, including a wonderful solo effort against the USA, which took her overall tally to 16 is proof that the young striker's star shines every bit as brightly at international level.

Her partnership with fellow frontwoman Sam Kerr is likely to be key to Australia's chances of success in France.

WATCH: Caitlin Foord shows great footwork to bamboozle the USA defence

11. Lisa De Vanna 

Date of birth: 14 November 1984 (34 years old)
Caps: 147
Debut: Friendly v New Zealand on 18 February 2004 in Brisbane (2-0 win)
Clubs played for: Adelaide Sensation, Western Waves, Doncaster Rovers Belles (ENG), AIK (SWE), Perth Glory, Washington Freedom (USA), Brisbane Roar, magicJack (USA), Newcastle Jets, Linköping (SWE), Sky Blue FC (USA), Melbourne Victory, Boston Breakers (USA), Washington Spirit (USA), Melbourne City, North Shore Mariners, Orlando Pride (USA), Canberra United, South Melbourne, Sydney FC
Previous World Cups: 2007, 2011, 2015

Her 2019 so far:

With an all-time high 47 goals for the Westfield Matildas – seven of them coming across three World Cup tournaments – De Vanna is a tried-and-tested performer on the international stage. 

A successful 2018/19 campaign has already seen her lift the Westfield W-League Championship with club side Sydney FC, as well as helping Australia clinch the Cup of Nations against New Zealand, Argentina and Korea Republic. 

Goals against Korea Republic and the United States has her sitting at two in four matches for the Westfield Matildas this year, and the evergreen De Vanna will hope to continue her rich vein of form in France.

WATCH: De Vanna finds the net against the United States in April

15. Emily Gielnik

Date of birth: 13 May 1992 (27 years old)
Caps: 28
Debut: Friendly v Japan on 11 July 2012 in Tokyo, Japan (3-0 loss)
Clubs played for: Brisbane Roar, Liverpool FC (ENG), Ottawa Fury (CAN), Urawa Red Diamonds (JPN), Avaldsnes (NOR), Melbourne Victory
Previous World Cups: None

Her 2019 so far:

Whatever jersey she plays in, Emily Gielnik continues to terrorise defences.

Four goals for Melbourne Victory in their Premiers' Plate-winning Westfield W-League campaign alongside two strikes for the Westfield Matildas at the Cup of Nations showcases an athlete in irresistible form.

Lightning-quick, powerful and standing at 183cm, Gielnik is an ominous threat to any side she lines up against and is one of a number of Westfield Matildas who can score from all over the park, as she showcased with a goal for the ages against Korea Republic at the Cup of Nations.

Having narrowly missed out on selection for Australia's FIFA World Cup Canada 2015™ squad, she will be keen to make up for lost time in France. 

WATCH: Emily Gielnik finds the net in fine style against Korea Republic in March

16. Hayley Raso

Date of birth: 5 September 1994 (24 years old)
Caps: 34
Debut: Friendly v New Zealand on 24 June 2012 in Wollongong (1-1 draw)
Clubs played for: Canberra United, Brisbane Roar, Washington Spirit (USA), Melbourne Victory, Portland Thorns (USA) 
Previous World Cups: 2015

Her 2019 so far:

Not even a broken back could stop Hayley Raso from earning the right to don the green and gold at the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019.

The pacy attacker returned to action in January to play four matches with Brisbane Roar, after sustaining the career-threatening injury in a collision while turning out for Portland in the NWSL in 2018.

Raso returned to the national team for February's Cup of Nations and promptly showed outstanding pace and balance as she scored the second goal in a 2-0 win over New Zealand, announcing to the country – and perhaps more importantly, to new head coach Ante Milicic – that she is well and truly back fit and firing.

Hayley Raso on the ball for the Westfield Matildas during this year's Cup of Nation's Tournament
Hayley Raso on the ball for the Westfield Matildas during this year's Cup of Nations

17. Mary Fowler

Date of birth: 14 February 2003 (16 years old)
Caps: 4
Debut: Tournament of Nations v Brazil on 26 July 2018 in Kansas City, USA (3-1 win)
Clubs played for: Bankstown City Lions
Previous World Cups: none

Her 2019 so far:

After spending the early months of 2019 training overseas with the likes of Chelsea Ladies, Fowler returned to the Westfield Matildas selection frame when she was named in the 23-player squad to face world No.1 the United States in April.

Entering the fray as a substitute in that clash, Fowler continued on the path to France by turning out for the Westfield Young Matildas in April as they secured their spot for the 2019 AFC U-19 Women's Championship.

Her five goals against Nepal in that tournament helped stretch the youngster's scoring record to a remarkable 17 in 10 appearances for Gary van Egmond's side.

Described by head coach Ante Milicic at the squad announcement as "first and foremost a very good footballer", could the FIFA Women's World Cup see the 16-year-old really announce herself on the world stage?

Mary Fowler
Could France 2019 be a breakout tournament for 16-year-old Mary Fowler?

20. Sam Kerr

Date of birth: 10 September 1993 (25 years old)
Caps: 76
Debut: Friendly v Italy on 7 February 2009 in Canberra (5-1 loss)
Clubs played for: Perth Glory, Sydney FC, Western New York Flash (USA), Sky Blue FC (USA), Chicago Red Stars (USA)
Previous World Cups: 2011, 2015

Her 2019 so far:

Sam Kerr's star continues to rise, to the extent that she has joined world superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe in having a boot custom-made for her by sportswear giant Nike. Rarified company indeed. 

Despite falling one hurdle short of silverware – her Perth Glory side losing 4-2 to Sydney FC in the Westfield W-League 2019 Grand Final – Kerr still netted 17 times and created a league-high 46 chances for the West Australian side across 13 matches.

Continuing to shine with Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL – she scored twice last weekend as Red Stars inflicted a first defeat in 11 months on North Carolina Courage – the striker has four goals in four matches for her country this year, taking her overall tally to 31.

Sam Kerr of Australia shoots for Westfield Matildas against USA
Sam Kerr pulls the trigger for the Westfield Matildas

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