Cooper and Nevin named in 25-player squad for June’s Denmark and Sweden friendlies

Cooper, Nevin

Wanderers Caitlin Cooper and Courtney Nevin have been named in the 25-player Westfield Matildas squad set to take part in the team’s June international friendlies against Denmark and Sweden. 

The fixtures against the Scandinavian nations form part of Australia’s preparations ahead of July’s women’s football tournament with Tony Gustavsson calling in a host of familiar names and fresh faces. 

With over 400 matches of international experience combined, Australia vice-captain Steph Catley and centurion Elise Kellond-Knight spearhead a returning quintet of players – Catley, Kellond-Knight, Carpenter, Simon and Yallop – who assisted the team in qualifying for their fourth Games.   

Westfield Young Matildas contingent Kyra Cooney-Cross, Courtney Nevin and Charlotte Grant all have the opportunity to join the 209 women who have represented Australia on the international stage.  On the other end of the spectrum, veteran defender Caitlin Cooper earns another shot at a major tournament, while midfielders Amy Harrison and Alex Chidiac have been rewarded for strong domestic seasons in the Netherlands and in the Westfield W-League.  

Following an extensive process of evaluation, Gustavsson is keen to begin working with the squad – half of whom he will meet for the first later in the month.  

“I believe this group of players bring together some excellent qualities and I am really looking forward to seeing how they can come together,” said Gustavsson.    

“We spoke about the April camp giving us questions and answers and, over the past couple of weeks, Mel and I have been working with the technical staff to find the players that we believe can address certain key questions.  We have analysed the squad and identified the areas that require strengthening and players that have weapons to enhance the national team.”  

With 50 days until Australia’s opening tournament match against New Zealand, Gustavsson emphasised the importance of team balance, building chemistry and maximising every moment until the July kick off.  

“When it comes to building the roster, we need to ensure we have balance across the squad.  We need different player types; we need depth in different positions and need some players that provide flexibility between the lines.”  

“All of this means that difficult decisions had to be made, particularly in positions like the forwardline where there is an abundance of talent but limited positions.  Unfortunately, that has meant some top quality players have not been selected this time around, however, the door is still open as football is unpredictable and we always need to be adaptable.” 

“The focus of this camp will be on preparing ourselves for the opponents we will meet in 50 days.  It is why we have chosen tough opponents in Denmark and Sweden.  We need to observe, in a challenging environment, if the players called up can assist us in executing game plans that can be successful in July.”  

“Finally, we will have a heavy emphasis on building chemistry on and off the pitch.  Several of the players coming in have built strong relationships over years of close connection and we want to re-establish that rapport while cultivating new connections within the team,” he concluded.  

The squad will arrive in Bastad, Sweden from 6 June before meeting world number 16, Denmark (11 June), and world number five, Sweden (16 June), in Horsnes and Kalmar, respectively.   Full match details and broadcast details can be found below.  

The Westfield Matildas are grouped alongside New Zealand, Sweden and United States for the Games with their first match against Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on 21 July. 

Westfield Matildas 25-player Squad | June 2021 

PLAYER NAME

POSITION

CLUB

CAPS (GOALS)

Mackenzie ARNOLD

Goalkeeper

West Ham United (ENG)

25 (0)

Laura BROCK

Defender

En Avant de Guingamp (FRA)

62 (2)

Ellie CARPENTER

Defender

Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)

41 (1)

Steph CATLEY

Defender

Arsenal FC (ENG)

82 (3)

Alex CHIDIAC

Midfielder

Uncontracted

17 (1)

Kyra COONEY-CROSS

Midfielder

Blacktown Spartans (AUS)

0 (0)

Caitlin COOPER

Defender

Illawarra Stingrays (AUS)

10 (2)

Caitlin FOORD

Forward

Arsenal FC (ENG)

85 (20)

Mary FOWLER

Forward

Montpellier (FRA)

6 (0)

Emily GIELNIK

Forward

Vittsjo GIK (SWE)

39 (10)

Beatrice GOAD

Defender

SV Meppen (GER)

2 (0)

Charlotte GRANT

Defender

FC Rosengård (SWE)

0 (0)

Amy HARRISON

Midfielder

PSV Eindhoven (NED)

13 (0)

Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT

Midfielder

Hammarby (SWE)

113 (2)

Alanna KENNEDY

Defender

Unattached

89 (7)

Sam KERR

Forward

Chelsea FC (ENG)

90 (42)

Aivi LUIK

Midfielder

Sevilla (ESP)

27 (0)

Teagan MICAH

Goalkeeper

IL Sandviken (ISL)

0 (0)

Courtney NEVIN

Defender

Blacktown Spartans

0 (0)

Clare POLKINGHORNE

Defender

Vittsjo GIK (SWE)

126 (10)

Hayley RASO

Forward

Everton FC (ENG)

48 (6)

Kyah SIMON

Forward

PSV Eindhoven (NED)

92 (26)

Emily VAN EGMOND

Midfielder

Unattached

99 (23)

Lydia WILLIAMS

Goalkeeper

Arsenal FC (ENG)

89 (0)

Tameka YALLOP

Midfielder

West Ham United (ENG)

87 (10)