Strong Roar flavour to Matildas squad for Tokyo

Emily Gielnik and Clare Polkinghorne

Seven players with Brisbane Roar backgrounds have been named in the Matildas squad that will represent Australia in the women’s football tournament at Tokyo 2020.

The Australian Olympic Committee announced the 18-strong selection on Wednesday ahead of the team’s Group G opener against New Zealand on 21 July.

In defender Clare Polkinghorne, midfielder Tameka Yallop and forward Emily Gielnik, the squad features three stars of the Roar’s most recent Westfield W-League campaign.

Hayley Raso, a Premiership player with Brisbane in 2018, has also been chosen alongside Grand Final winners Aivi Luik (2011) and Elise Kellond-Knight (2009 & 2011).

Goalkeeper Teagan Micah, who began her Westfield W-League career in Queensland, rounds out the strong contingent of ex-Roar players in the main selection, with Mackenzie Arnold and Laura Brock chosen among the travelling reserves.

The Matildas will meet Liv Chance’s Football Ferns in Tokyo before taking on Sweden in Saitama and the United States in Kashima.

“The players that have been selected, it’s a team with a lot of passion and pride to now represent the country. It’s a spirit within the team that I love,” Coach Tony Gustavsson said.

“It’s a team and a roster that is very attacking balanced, but also with a lot of versatility. There’s a lot of players in this roster that can play multiple positions with which is exactly what you need in an Olympic tournament.

“On the pitch you are definitely going to see a brave team that’s going to take a step forward.”

CLICK HERE to read the full announcement on the Matildas website.