01/03/2024

The Tillies will line up in Perth for their first match since the World Cup. (PHOTO: The Matildas - Twitter)

21 players from the squad that took the Matildas’ to the Semi-Finals of the 2023 Women’s World Cup have been called up for their first Olympic qualifers in Perth this month.

U-23s captain Amy Sayer will return to the senior team setup, having featured in every game so far this season for Swedish outfit Kristianstad and impressing for the Young Matildas.

Fresh off scoring her first goal for new club Brighton in the League Cup this morning, 20-year-old Charlize Rule will join up with the squad in a train-on capacity.

U-23s head coach Melissa Andreatta says she couldn’t be more pleased for the pair’s return to the national team.

“It is recognition for not only their incredible work in our under-23 program, but also the developmental strides they have both made in the last two years,” she said.

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The two players from the World Cup squad to miss out are Aivi Luik and Kyah Simon who are both still unavailable as they return from injury.

Matildas head coach Tony Gustavsson says that the team is firmly focused on their next goal of achieving success at the Paris Olympics.

“While we have had some time to reflect on the impact of this remarkable team on and off the pitch, the special trait of this group is that they are always looking to embrace the next challenge and that is now qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” he said.

“With just over 285 days to go until that opening kick-off in France, we have called up players that we know are ready to take us forward to the next phase of qualifying, while looking to reward a couple who have performed strongly in the under-23 program.

“We are excited about the next chapter and continuing to build on the legacy for this team, and it all starts in Perth.”

Sam Kerr, having recovered from her calf injury that ruled her out for most of the World Cup campaign, is also a part of the squad that will return to her home town of Perth.

Two games at HBF Park are sold out, with over 50,000 seats already snatched up for a third match at Optus Stadium, which was moved due to high demand.

Fixtures (AWST/AEDT)

Matildas v IR Iran, Thursday 26 October 7pm/10pm, HBF Park

Philippines v Matildas, Sunday 29 October 3pm/6pm, Optus Stadium

Matildas v Chinese Taipei, Wednesday 1 November 7pm/10pm, HBF Park

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