Trio named in Matildas squad for New Zealand tour

Three Canberra United players have been selected in Coach Tom Sermanni’s 20-player Matildas squad for the upcoming two match tour of New Zealand.

Three Canberra United players have been selected in Coach Tom Sermanni-s 20-player Matildas squad for the upcoming two match tour of New Zealand.

Sally Shipard, Thea Slatyer and Lydia Williams were named amongst the squad that will face the Football Ferns in a two-match series with fixtures on the 17th and 20th February.

The inclusion of Sally Shipard comes as a boon to the player who was forced to sit out the entire Westfield W-League season following protracted registration issues that denied the talented player any game time.

“It-s been a breath of fresh air for me to get back on the pitch and be in the Matildas camp,” Shipard, who has appeared 39 times for her country, said.

“It-s really special and I-m enjoying getting back into the swing of things and rediscovering how it feels to be an international player. It-s a fun and enjoyable experience that I-m looking forward to.”

Shipard last donned the green and gold on the Matildas trip to the USA in 2008 before taking a year out of the game travelling. Having not played a competitive game in anger for over a year Shipard is well aware of the importance of the New Zealand series.

“It-s great playing with the girls in camp but we need to go and play matches. New Zealand are always a competitive team and are strong in most areas so it will be a testing environment for us and a good indicator of where we are at in terms of our preparation.”

“This tour is important in the scheme of things to gauge what we need to do to improve before the Asia Cup,” Shipard said.

The Westfield Matildas are currently preparing for their 2010 Asia Cup campaign in Chengdu, China in May which counts as the qualifying tournament for the FIFA Women-s World Cup 2011 in Germany.

Head Coach Tom Sermanni is confident his squad is developing in what is essentially a World Cup qualification year,

“The squad that will travel to New Zealand has a great depth of talent,” said Sermanni.

“Since 2008 we have been in a rebuilding phase for the Westfield Matildas following the retirement of some key players. We-ve got a great mix of experience and youth in this group of players and this blend is sure to serve us well as we continue our progress towards a fifth successive World Cup appearance.”

The Canberra United call-ups came as no surprise to Canberra United head coach Ray Junna.

“It-s very good for the club and fantastic for the players. Hopefully they can remain in the squad all the way through to the World Cup”, Junna commented.

“I-m not surprised that Sally [Shipard] has been selected. It would have been good to have her for the season and it just goes to show that her inclusion would have made a difference to us. We-re certainly looking forward to having her fit and raring to go next year.”

While Ellyse Perry was unavailable for selection due to her commitments with the Australian Women-s cricket team there was disappointment for Canberra United captain Ellie Brush who missed the cut for the tour.

Time however is on the side of the multi-talented United ‘skipper who is likely to link up with the squad upon their return as final preparations continue for the 2010 Asian Cup.


Player Club A-International matches (goals) Melissa Barbieri Melbourne Victory 67 Tameka Butt Brisbane Roar 11 (1) Kim Carroll Brisbane Roar 27 (1) Lauren Colthorpe Brisbane Roar 37 (6) Lisa De Vanna Perth Glory 59 (20) Heather Garriock Sydney FC 113 (19) Kathryn Gill Perth Glory 54 (26) Elise Kellond-Knight Brisbane Roar 1 Samantha Kerr Perth Glory 7 Leena Khamis Sydney FC 6 (1) Kylie Ledbrook Sydney FC 12 Aivi Luik Brisbane Roar 0 Collette McCallum Perth Glory 49 (7) Clare Polkinghorne Brisbane Roar 30 (2) Sally Shipard Canberra United 39 (2) Kyah Simon Sydney FC 12 (1) Thea Slatyer Canberra United 39 (2) Servet Uzunlar Sydney FC 7 (1) Sarah Walsh Sydney FC 57 (26) Lydia Williams Canberra United 18

Upcoming Match Details A-International friendlies New Zealand v Westfield Matildas Wednesday, 17 February, 2010 Kick-off: 7.00pm local (5.00pm AEDT) North Harbour Stadium, Albany

New Zealand v Westfield Matildas Saturday, 20 February, 2010 Kick-off: 3.00pm local (1.00pm AEDT) Bill McKinley Park, Mt Wellington