Premier League

Sam Kerr learns Paris Olympics fate as Australia unveil squad

Tony Gustavsson and Steph Catley

Chelsea striker Sam Kerr will not play for Australia at this summer’s Paris Olympics as she continues her recovery from a serious knee injury.

The Matildas’ 18-player squad was confirmed on Tuesday as they prepare to take part in the Olympics for the first time in 20 years, with Kerr missing out after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in January during a warm weather training camp with WSL champions Chelsea.

Captain Steph Catley, vice-captains Emily van Egmond and Ellie Carpenter, and Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Yallop will all take part in their third Olympic campaign.

Clare Hunt, Kaitlyn Torpey, Clare Wheeler and Cortnee Vine will make their debuts, while Katrina Gorry will join the squad for her second Games. Veteran goalkeeper Lydia Williams will also make her final appearance representing her country, after confirming her retirement last week.

Williams has played in five World Cups and six Asian Cups during her 19-year international career, winning 103 caps, but this will be her first appearance at the Olympics – Australia haven’t competed since Athens 2004.

Tony Gustavsson and Steph Catley

Tony Gustavsson and Steph Catley / Matt King/GettyImages

Boss Tony Gustavsson said: “This has been an incredibly challenging squad to select with so many quality players competing firecely for limited spots.

“It has been a methodical process over the past couple of years to reach to this point, and each of the players selected bring unique and beneficial qualities to our team that will be vital for our Paris 2024 campaign.

“I know that this team will give everything for the coat of arms and will represent Australia to the best of their ability in the true Aussie way.”

The Matildas will be Australia’s only representatives in Paris after the men’s team failed to qualify, with their first fixture coming against Germany at Stade de Marseille.

Australia’s 18-player squad: Mackenzie Arnold (GK), Ellie Carpenter (VC), Steph Catley (C), Kyra Cooney-Cross, Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Clare Hunt, Alanna Kennedy, Teagan Micah (GK), Clare Polkinghorne, Hayley Raso, Kaitlyn Torpey, Emily van Egmond (VC), Cortnee Vine, Clare Wheeler, Tameka Yallop


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