The race to make the 2020 Olympics has begun for the Matildas, who have been told their battle to make the squad begins with Saturday’s friendly against Chile.
If the Matildas qualify for the Tokyo Games, coach Ante Milicic will select a squad of 18 players, two of whom must be registered goalkeepers. That is five fewer than he was allowed at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
The players have been told their bid to make the tournament begins at training and in the games against La Roja, starting with Saturday’s match at Bankwest Stadium. Milicic will then whittle the squad to 20 for the January qualifying series in China. If successful, two more will be dropped before the Games. More than just ability will determine who makes the cut.
“You have to take that into consideration when you pick your squad and you look at it purely based on the fact of the games, the rest period, the quality of opposition, the travel,” he said. “When you are away for an extended period of time, away from home and in a tournament scenario, you learn a lot from the group, what players can give on and off the park.”