Full squad: Liberty A-League players dominate Young Matildas’ roster for U20 Asian Cup

Twenty-two of the 23 players in the Young Matildas squad for next month’s AFC Under-20 Women’s Asian Cup play in the Liberty A-League after head coach Leah Blayney confirmed her selections.

The Liberty A-League dominates the 23-player squad as Australia prepare to face Korea Republic (March 3), hosts Uzbekistan (March 6) and Chinese Taipei (March 9) in Group A at the AFC event between March 3-16, with Tottenham Hotspur’s academy rising star Milly Boughton the only internationally-based player on the plane to Tashkent.

Melbourne Victory’s Jessika Nash will captain the Young Matildas for the second straight year, while Melbourne City defender Naomi Thomas-Chinnama is her deputy.

Reigning Liberty A-League champions Sydney FC are the most represented club in the squad with six inclusions, including January’s Young Football of the Year nomination Maddie Caspers.

“This squad has been a result of over 12 months of intensive scouting across the country and internationally. With the significant number of excellent players available, this has been an extremely difficult task to select the final squad,” said Blayney.

“I want to thank the close to 100 players who participated in the process and put their best foot forward in Elite Matches, National Youth Championships, NTC Challenge games, National Premier League clashes, A-League Women’s fixtures and CommBank Young Matildas’ camps.

“We are pleased with the final roster not only in terms of depth, but also the versatility, high motivation and form they are all current demonstrating.

“This is one of the most exciting cohorts that I have worked with over my six years with the national team, and it highlights the fantastic work being undertaken across the Australian football landscape.”

If the Young Matildas earn a top-two finish in Group A, it will not only secure a spot in the knockout phases of the Asian Cup but qualification for the 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup between August 31 and September 22.

Blayney added: “As we have seen from the 2019 edition that saw the likes of Mary Fowler, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Charli Grant and Courtney Nevin star, we see the U20s championship as a vital tournament to assist in developing the next generation of senior CommBank Matildas.

“It’s at this age where players start to break into their club teams and take on positions of responsibility in those environments. We look to build on that in the national team to sharpen their already considerable tools and provide them with even more assets for their future career.

“Historically across this age group, and particularly in the past four years, we have shown there is a definite pathway to progress all the way up to the senior team. We are determined to do everything possible to qualify for this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup which will provide further opportunities for this talented group of players.”

Match schedule – 2024 AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup

Korea Republic v Australia
Date: Sunday, 3 March 2024
Kick-off: 1.00pm (local) / 7.00pm AEDT
Venue: Do’stlik Stadium, Tashkent
Broadcast: 10 Play

Australia v Uzbekistan
Date: Wednesday, 6 March 2024
Kick-off: 4.00pm (local) / 10.00pm AEDT
Venue: JAR Stadium, Tashkent
Broadcast: 10 Play

Australia v Chinese Taipei
Date: Saturday, 9 March 2024
Kick-off: 1.00pm (local) / 7.00pm AEDT
Venue: Do’stlik Stadium, Tashkent
Broadcast: 10 Play

Young Matildas squad
Alexia APOSTOLAKISDefenderWestern Sydney Wanderers | Football NSW
Tegan BERTOLISSIODefenderCanberra United | Football NSW
Milly BOUGHTONForwardIpswich Town on loan from Tottenham Hotspurs | Football NSW
Madeleine CASPERSMidfielderSydney FC | Football NSW
Georgia CASSIDYMidfielderPerth Glory | Football West
Claudia CICCODefenderNewcastle Jets | Football NSW
Indiana DOS SANTOSMidfielderSydney FC | Football NSW
Jynaya DOS SANTOSForwardSydney FC | Football NSW
Gemma FERRISDefenderWestern Sydney Wanderers | Football NSW
Tahlia FRANCOGoalkeeperSydney FC | Football NSW
Daniela GALICMidfielderMelbourne City | Football NSW
Lara GOOCHForwardNewcastle Jets | Northern NSW Football
Sasha GROVEDefenderCanberra United | Capital Football
Shay HOLLMANMidfielderSydney FC | Football NSW
Kahli JOHNSONForwardWestern United | Football NSW
Zara KRUGERMidfielderSydney FC | Football Queensland
Chloe LINCOLNGoalkeeperCanberra United | Football NSW
Tijan McKENNADefenderMelbourne City | Football West
Alana MURPHYMidfielderMelbourne Victory | Football Victoria
Jessika NASHDefenderMelbourne Victory | Football NSW
Naomi THOMAS-CHINNAMADefenderMelbourne City | Football Victoria
Peta TRIMISForwardCentral Coast Mariners | Football NSW
Grace WILSONGoalkeeperAdelaide United | Football South Australia