Canberra United star Karly Roestbakken has been named in the Westfield Matildas squad for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification matches to be played in Wuhan, China.
Westfield Matildas head coach Ante Milicic today announced Australia’s 20-player squad to face China PR, Chinese Taipei and Thailand at the Five Rings Sports Centre in Wuhan.
Roestbakken, who represented her country three times at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, will join her Westfield Matildas teammates at a training camp in Sydney between 20-27 January before the team departs for China on 28 January.
She will miss Canberra United’s away match against Melbourne Victory on 26 January at Lakeside Stadium.
Australia will need to finish either first or second in Group B of Asian qualifying to advance to the final phase of matches for a place at Tokyo 2020, which would consist of a home and away play-off against Korea Republic, Vietnam, or Myanmar in early March 2020.
Head coach Ante Milicic believes his squad has the perfect balance of experienced players and emerging talents.
“I expect us to perform strongly in Wuhan,” Milicic said. “Together with my staff I have been keeping a very close eye on the Westfield W-League, and it is pleasing that many of our players have produced strong performances in the competition over the past two months.
“The great amount of consistency within our squad from November’s series against Chile in Sydney and Adelaide means that we will be able to continue to make progress with many areas of our play from the moment we convene in Sydney as we build up to these crucial qualifiers.
“With only 20 places in this squad and 18 for Tokyo should we qualify, every player will need to show her best in this upcoming camp and help the nation take another step towards the Olympic Games.”
The bulk of the Westfield Matildas’ squad will assemble at the Sydney training camp prior to departing to China, with foreign-based duo Sam Kerr (Chelsea FC) and Emily Gielnik (FC Bayern Munich) to meet their teammates in Hubei Province prior to the start of the tournament.
Australia’s games in Wuhan will be held on 3, 6 and 9 February, with ticketing and broadcast information to be advised in due course.