Former Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has named his 23-player Young Matildas squad ahead of the second phase of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Under 19 Women’s Championship.
Among the two dozen players is Annalee Grove, the Mount Hutton teenager that has stared between the sticks for the junior team a handful of times already in the path toward the championship. The Hunter’s young star goalkeeper and the rest of the squad has already departed to Canberra in preparation for their group fixtures.
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The Young Matildas, and 17-year-old Grove, will face Nepal, Myanmar, and Uzbekistan at Mandalarthiri Stadium in Myanmar as they look to make it out of the group. Australia must finish top two in order to qualify for the Championship in October and November of 2019. Thailand, Japan, DPR Korea, and China PR have already qualified for the year-end tournament.
The top three teams at the 2019 AFC Women’s Championship will score direct qualification to the 2020 FIFA Under 20s Women’s World Cup. It’s an honour Australia has not earned since 2006.
“Our upcoming matches in Mandalay will be crucial for the ongoing development of the Young Matildas,” van Egmond said.
“We have a clear target in Myanmar, and that is to secure qualification for the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship so that we can set our focus on FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualification. We will also be aiming to see progress in individuals and the team on the international stage.”
- Matildas vs Nepal, April 26 – kickoff at 6.30pm AEST
- Matildas vs Myanmar, April 28 – kickoff at 9.30pm AEST
- Matildas vs Uzbekistan, April 30 – kickoff at 6.30pm AEST