Dower names strong Australia squad for Qualifiers
Sydney: Junior Matildas Head Coach Rae Dower has named Australia’s 23-player squad for Round Two of the 2019 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers in Vientiane, Laos.
Last September, Dower’s squad ventured to Bishkek in Kyrgyz Republic for the first phase of qualifying and won all four of their matches to advance comfortably to Round Two.
Australia’s squad will enjoy a strong lead up to the second stage of qualifying to be held in Vientiane, with a training camp on the Gold Coast to take place prior to a camp in Laos ahead of the Junior Matildas’ qualification matches against Islamic Republic of Iran (March 3), Vietnam (March 5), and the host nation (March 7).
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“I’m excited to announce the team for the upcoming Round Two qualifiers to be held in Laos in early March,” Dower said. “We’ve seen the players at a hotly contested training camp recently at the AIS in Canberra, and in an internal match at Valentine Sports Park.
“We’ve made a couple of changes since the first phase of qualifying which provides an opportunity to strengthen the depth of this playing cohort, exposing them to international competition."
“Naturally some players will be disappointed, but it’s important for the players that missed out to continue to work hard back at their clubs and look to improve themselves so that they’re ready to go when the next opportunity arises.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the team together for our upcoming camp in Queensland before we head off to Laos. We’ll all be working hard in preparation with our sights firmly set on the Iran match on March 3,” she said.
Group B of the second round of qualifiers has Bangladesh, Philippines, China PR and host Myanmar, with matches to be played on February 27-March 3.
The group winners and runners-up from the respective groups will join the top three teams from the 2017 edition - DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Japan - along with host Thailand, in the Finals in September.
The 2019 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship will serve as the qualification process for the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Australia Squad: Chloe CARMICHAEL (Gk), Ruby JONES (Gk), Mia BAILEY (Gk), Emma ILIJOSKI, Charlie RULE, Jessika NASH, Darcey MALONE, Kahli JOHNSON, Anna HUNT, Jordan JASNOS, Charlotte FARMER, Georgia BEAUMONT, Jamilla RANKIN, Grace TARANTO, Paige ZOIS, Alana JANCEVSKI, Nia STAMATOPOULOS, Hana LOWRY, Isabella WALLHEAD, Tijan MCKENNA, Josie MORLEY, Kirsty FENTON, Teagan DOUGLAS.