Four Brisbane Roar W-League players – including Matildas striker Larissa Crummer – have been included in a Young Matildas training camp ahead of the forthcoming AFC Under-19 Championships in China.
Joining Crummer in the four-day camp at the AIS, which concluded today, were goalkeeper Teagan Micah, defender Angela Beard and attacking midfielder Sunny Franco.
Roar W-League coach Belinda Wilson said the efforts of Crummer and her fellow Matildas at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada had inspired the next generation of players.
“The FIFA Women’s World Cup was fantastic for all who watched the Matildas play,” Wilson said.
“People at home could see what is expected when playing at the highest levels . . . the true belief of what it means to play for your country and be successful.
“With Larissa coming back into the training environment, our younger players can see that with commitment and dedication to develop their own game they too can play a part of the inspirational story of the Matildas and help Australia qualify to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup next year.”
Involvement with the Young Matildas continues a superb season for Crummer.
The 19-year-old was the youngest player used by Matildas coach Alen Stajcic as his squad reached the quarter-finals in Canada last month. She made appearances off the bench in games against Sweden and Japan.
Crummer told matildas.footballaustralia.com.au the World Cup was a life-changing few weeks.
“We were training since January so we weren’t just a team we were a family,” she said.
“We knew we would do well. It was probably a surprise to everyone back home but not to us. We knew we were prepared and were a good team and it showed in our results.”
The AFC Under-19 Championships, from August 18-29, will be a tough test for the Young Matildas, who must finish in the top three to book their spot at next year’s FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
The Young Matildas are in a tough group with host nation China, Japan and Uzbekistan.
Crummer hopes to use her experiences in Canada to inspire the Young Matildas to similar heights.
“Hopefully I can be a bit of a leader to the young girls and bring back what I learned from the World Cup and they can learn off me,” she said.
Meanwhile, a Brisbane Roar/Queensland Academy of Sport women’s under-17 team team will participate in the five-day NTC Challenge at the AIS, starting on Thursday
They will compete against, and play alongside, players from other state NTC programs in a new format aimed at identifying the next generation of Matildas.
Teams will play together for the first two days and then players will be split into different teams for the remainder of the Challenge.
The Roar/QAS players have been training under the guidance of Wilson and Melissa Andreatta and playing in the National Premier Leagues under-13 and under-14 boys competition.
The squad heading to Canberra also includes players selected from other women’s NPL sides including Olympic FC, Sunshine Coast FC, University of Queensland FC and South West Queensland Thunder FC.