Milicic announces maiden Matildas squad

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New Matildas coach Ante Milicic has announced his 23-player squad for the inaugural Cup of Nations tournament, with Hayley Raso the headline inclusion.

Milicic combined both youth and experience in a squad that features several standout players from this past W-League season, including Melbourne Victory's Teigen Allen and Sydney FC's grand final-winning captain Teresa Polias.

The new Matildas coach has barely ruffled a feather with his selections, retaining the key names of the Alen Stajcic era, despite leaving out Michelle Heyman.

Steph Catley, Aivi Luik and Eliza Campbell are back after missing November's series against Chile.

Raso returns to the national team after recovering from a broken back suffered on club duty last year.

Milicic has yet to appoint a captain but the regular skippers under Stajcic, Clare Polkinghorne and Lisa De Vanna, are both in the squad.

Meanwhile, stalwarts Katrina Gorry and Kyah Simon are unavailable due to injury.

The Matildas will take on New Zealand, Korea Republic and Argentina in the six-match tournament, with Milicic's first match coming against the Kiwis on February 28 in Sydney.

And, speaking in Brisbane ahead of the team's pre-tournament training camp this weekend, the 44-year-old said he was eager to get to work.

"I am looking forward to all the players and staff arriving in camp and getting to work," Milicic said.

"We will have four great days of training in Brisbane before traveling to Sydney to play New Zealand in the first match of the tournament.

"It is important that we make the most of the next two weeks that we have together both on and off the pitch.

"With matches and travel in quick succession throughout the Cup of Nations, this tournament will replicate some of the demands that we will experience at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, which will be a good test for everyone involved."

Matildas' Cup of Nations squad

Matildas squad

 

WATCH the Matildas in upcoming Cup of Nations action on SBS VICELAND and via The World Game website / app. 

Thursday February 28 

Cup of Nations

Matildas v New Zealand - LIVE on SBS VICELAND and streamed via The World Game website / app

1900 – 2130   

Monday March 4

Cup of Nations Football

Matildas v Korea Republic - Delayed on SBS VICELAND

1200 - 1400

Wednesday March 6

Cup of Nations Football

Matildas v Argentina - LIVE on SBS VICELAND and streamed via The World Game website / app

1730 - 2000