Australian squad selected for Women's World Cup

Australia's national women's team, the Matildas, will be looking to replicate the success of the men's Socceroos in Germany last year said coach Tom Sermanni when he today announced the Australian squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in China next month. Australia has been drawn into Group C alongside Norway, Canada and Ghana. The 21-strong squad will again be led by long-serving captain Cheryl Salisbury who is not only the most capped male or female Australian international player but also the record Australian international goalscorer. The 33-year-old is also set to join an elite group of players in the world to have played at four World Cups.

The Matildas squad: Goalkeepers – Melissa Barbieri (Melbourne), Lydia Williams (Canberra), Emma Wirkus (Adelaide); Defenders – Di Alagich (Sydney), Rhian Davies (Sydney), Heather Garriock (Sydney), Kate McShea (Brisbane), Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane), Cheryl Salisbury (Newcastle), Thea Slatyer (Sydney); Midfielders – Lauren Colthorpe (Newcastle), Alicia Ferguson (Brisbane), Collette McCallum (Perth), Joanne Peters (Newcastle), Sally Shipard (Canberra), Danielle Small (Sydney); Forwards – Joanne Burgess (Sydney), Lisa DeVanna (Perth), Kate Gill (Newcastle), Caitlin Munoz (Canberra), Sarah Walsh (Sydney).

The Nike strip for the women’s national team launched today is engineered specifically for women. The new Matildas’ kit incorporates some of Nike’s most innovative performance technologies including Nike Dri-FIT, a fabrication that draws sweat from the skin and moves it to the outside of the garment for rapid evaporation, keeping the athlete drier and more comfortable. Female participation in Australia has grown enormously in recent years with females comprising nearly 20 per cent of the registered players. There are now just on 100,000 registered players in Australia with numbers having grown by over 16 per cent in just one year between 2005 and 2006.