BY CONNOR STEPHENS
The Women’s World Cup is now only a fortnight away, and the Matilda’s have just released their 23 player squad for the upcoming tournament. This looks to be arguably the strongest side the Australian women have ever boasted, and being the host nation along with New Zealand, there is every chance they will go deep into this tournament if the stars align, and who knows, they could even potentially win their maiden World Cup trophy.
Below are 5 players from the Matildas squad to watch at the upcoming World Cup:
I have spoken about Sam Kerr frequently in the write ups about this tournament, and for good reason. The Matildas captain, Golden Boot winner in 3 different domestic leagues, along with 63 international goals and playing for the host nation, all eyes will be on her, and her performance up front will be a key factor as to how far Australia progresses in the tournament.
Kerr brings fans to the game, so expect a big attendance at all of Australia's World Cup matches. Australia has a lot of depth in the goalscoring department, but Kerr will need to lead from the front and come up big when needed in order for the Matildas to stamp their mark on this World Cup.
There has never been a better opportunity for Australia to win some major silverware, and Sam Kerr is the spearhead behind this. If she doesn't perform, then chances are neither will the rest of the squad. She is one of the world's best players for a reason, and this tournament provides the perfect opportunity for Kerr to show everyone exactly why.
Gorry is the never ending engine in the Matildas Midfield, and her inclusion will be huge for this upcoming World Cup. It has been a busy couple years for Katrina, from having her first child, to recently getting engaged to Vittsjo teammate Clara Markstedt, while also making her long awaited return to Football in this time, Gorry will be ready and firing to make a statement at this World Cup and the Matildas will be relying on her tank in order for the team to fight out 90 minutes of game time.
Having already participated in the previous 2 World Cups, Gorry has experience, and the Matildas will be looking to her leadership, especially from the centre of the ground controlling the tempo of the game. There is every chance that Katrina will be the match winner if any games go down to the wire, due to her ability to keep a consistent pace all game long, and she will be an absolute nightmare for any opposition player hoping to keep up with her.
One of the toughest Defenders in world Football, Carpenter has just only turned 23, yet it feels like she has been around forever. Having played for the Matildas since 2016 as a 15 year old, and currently plying her trade at Olympique Lyon in France, including winning 2 Champions League titles with the club, Carpenter is no stranger to the big stage.
It is quite possible that we are yet to see Carpenter's best football, and that is a terrifying thought. As previously stated, she is still only 23 and if Australia end up winning this World Cup, she’d have just about already achieved everything there is to do in the sport. She is quick, aggressive, and reads the play like no other, and if she is true to form and stays rock solid at the back and backs herself in every 1 on 1 possible, then I genuinely believe that Australia has what it takes to win this World Cup.
The speedy Left-Back will be crucial to Australia's fast attacking game style, and don't be surprised if she is used as a utility due to her ability to also operate through the centre of Defence, and also as a Defensive Midfielder. The Arsenal star has been named as Vice-Captain of the Matildas side for the World Cup, as she also was in 2019.
Catley is the definition of leading from the front, she isn't known to yell and scream at teammates, and prides herself on performing in a way that will motivate those around her. She lets her actions on the field speak, and she is a true leader that the squad will look up to for the duration of this tournament.
Catley makes those around her better, and her presence on the field alone will be enough for the rest of the squad to shine and hopefully achieve greatness at the World Cup.
EMILY VAN EGMOND
The Midfielder will be 30 when the World Cup rolls around, and Van Egmond has made 127 appearances for her nation, meaning her experience is vital. She is a consistent performer through the middle of the ground, and has proven that for many years now.
The journey girl has played for over 10 clubs throughout her prolonged career, and her experience playing across the globe could prove to be the deciding factor for the Aussies as they look to win silverware on their home deck.
The Newcastle talent currently plays for the San Diego Wave, having signed there last year, and this could potentially be her last World Cup tournament due to getting on with age, so she will be ready to fire on every front. This is Van Egmond's 4th World Cup, so she has been around the ropes before, and is yet another player that will provide experience and guidance to the younger players.
The Matildas have a great blend of youth and experience for this upcoming World Cup, and the side overall looks pretty stacked. Many world class players playing in different leagues across the globe, mixed with up and coming prodigies that have already stamped their mark on the world stage, the stage is set for the Matildas, and I have the gut feeling that we will go all the way and win our maiden World Cup trophy!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?