Brisbane Roar’s Jamilla Rankin has been named in the Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas squad for a two-match series against New Zealand’s Junior Football Ferns in April.
The games, to be held in Canberra, form part of the team’s preparations for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which will take place in Costa Rica in August.
Rankin, 18, is likely to be a key figure for Leah Blayney’s team after appearing in every Liberty A-League game for Brisbane this season.
Fellow Roar defender Annie Haffenden received an invitation to join the squad but was unable to take part due to her new deal in Sweden.
“I was really excited when I found out. It’s something that I’ve been working towards for a while now, so for it to finally happen was quite surreal,” Haffenden said of the initial call-up.
“Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend as I had already signed my contract with Vaxjo DFF, but hopefully by playing in Sweden I’m giving myself the best possible chance to be part of the U-20 World Cup squad.”
Goalkeeper Isabella Shuttleworth has also been recognised for an impressive start to her top-flight career by being named on the standby list for the New Zealand series.
Roar Head Coach Garrath McPherson welcomed the trio’s inclusion in the Young Matildas frame.
“It is nice recognition for everyone at the football club that a number of our young players are included in national teams planning,” McPherson said.
“Jamilla, Annie and Bella all played the last four A-League Women’s games together in our backline, keeping two clean sheets in the run home.
“All three had a different lead in to the season. Bella had the opportunity to work with Brody Sams in our Queensland Future Matildas program, Jamilla joined us from the New South Wales program when lockdown occurred and Annie joined us from Alamein where she was working with Kat Smith.”
The New Zealand matches will be held on 6 and 10 April, with the Commonwealth Bank Young Matildas entering a pre-camp at the Australian Institute of Sport on Thursday, 31 March.
Brisbane Roar thanks its A-League Women team sponsors including Platinum Partner and front-of-shirt sponsor Ausenco for supporting the team and our players throughout the Liberty A-League season and beyond.