Olympians add strength to Young Matildas line-up
FOOTBALL: For once, Ellie Carpenter won't be the odd one out. Nor will she the baby of the team.
The teenage football star, who made her Olympic debut in Rio last year, is actually one of the most experienced players in her latest team.
Carpenter, 17, and fellow Australian player Alex Chidiac, 18, headline a 23-strong Young Matildas squad named for a series of matches against their US and Canadian under-20 counterparts in Canberra from later this week.
The matches are a crucial part of the Young Matildas' preparations for the AFC U19 championships in October which doubles as qualifiers for the FIFA U20 World Cup to be played in France next year.
"International competition for all junior teams is something that we're starved of so for us to get the opportunity to play against two powerhouses like Canada and America is invaluable for our players,” Young Matildas coach Gary van Egmond said.
"It will give us a really good eye opener on what this level is all about and it's good for us from the perspective of assessing and looking to see how we finalise the squad ahead of the AFC U19 Women's Championships in October.”
The Young Matildas' first match of the series will be against Canada at the AIS on July 8 following the opening match between the Canadians and the USA on July 6.
The US and Canadian senior teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 4 in the world.