Matildas Olympics squad: Charli Grant misses out, injured Katrina Gorry named for Paris

Veteran goalkeeper Lydia Williams has lost her place in the Matildas’ 18-man squad for the Olympics but will travel to Paris as one of four reserves with coach Tony Gustavsson to bat against injured star Katrina Gorry.

The team is made up of eight players – captain Steph Catley, vice-captains Emily van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter, Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Yallop – who will become the first Australian footballers to become three-time Olympians in Paris. .

Injured West Ham midfielder Gorry, who did not feature in Australia’s two-match series against China, is also named in the 18 despite still recovering from ankle surgery.

Williams, who recently announced her retirement from international football after the Olympics, played against China in Australia’s 2-0 win on Monday night and was given an emotional send-off by her home crowd.

Mackenzie Arnold and Teagan Micah were recognized as the two goalkeepers on the team.

“It was extremely challenging to pick a squad with so many quality players competing hard for limited spots,” said Gustavsson.

“It has been a methodical process over the past few years to get to this point and each of the players selected has brought unique and beneficial attributes to our squad that will be key to our Paris 2024 campaign.

“I would like to congratulate all the selected players and teammates, coaches, family and friends who have brought them to this moment. I know this team will give it their all and represent Australia to the best of their ability in true Australian fashion.”

The other three traveling reserves are Charlotte Grant, the most regular member of the missing squad, and Courtney Nevin and Sharn Freier.

Gustavsson essentially picked Polkinghorne over Grant, favoring the safety of backup centre-back for Clare Hunt and Alanna Kennedy over full-back Grant.

Her Way wrote on X: “A little shocked and saddened that Charli Grant is not on the team for the Olympics. Man of the match against the Lionesses 14 months ago.”

West Sport’s Ben Smith said: “As expected. But I feel Charlie Grant.”

One fan posted: “I’m sorry if this is an unpopular opinion but she has one bad game and Tony put her on the bench?” Charli Grant deserved to be called up.”

China coach Ante Miličić, a former Matildas coach, was determined the Australians could go “all the way” and win their first Olympic medal in Paris, having seen them in action twice in the past week.

“They’ve been very close in the past and especially for this core group of players, this generation, it will be fitting that they get a medal as a reward for everything they’ve done for the codex,” he said.

“The Olympics are different with 18 players and fewer teams, so the quality is strong.

“But there’s definitely a strong core group of players there that hopefully Australia can be proud of and ultimately bring home a medal.”

Matilda’s Olympic Team: Steph Catley (c) Mackenzie Arnold, Ellie Carpenter, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Hunt, Steph Catley, Katrina Gorry, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Emily van Egmond, Mary Fowler, Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord, Cortnee Vine, Michelle Heyman, Clare Polkinghorne, Kaitlyn Torpey, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop.

Four travel reserves: Charlotte Grant, Courtney Nevin, Sharn Freier, Lydia Williams.

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