Matildas The Matilda's Thread

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Dixie Flatline

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Laura Alleway has had to withdraw from the squad and has been replaced by Karly Roestbakken. Roestbakken had been training with the Young Matildas when called up to replace Alleway. She's an 18 year old defender for Canberra United and has had three years of experience in the W-League. Roestbakken is yet to play for the Matildas.
 

drd23

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The Matildas defense did not need that. They looked very shaky against the United States and were reportedly the same in the recent 3-0 loss to the Netherlands, and losing someone who is undoubtedly a first choice CB when healthy won't help
 

stax on the mull

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Its not a like for like replacement. They're going to have to move someone into a central role (like Catley) if they lose Polkinghorne or Kennedy in any of these matches.

Alleway is one of the stronger defenders and in the air she's handy at defending set pieces. Kennedy is the #1 defender but she's more the rangy type and doesn't have the physical strength to match it with some strikers who can get in front of her and hold her off.(Natasha Dowie, the Melbourne Victory striker - seemed too strong for Kennedy). Alleway was in the squad to cover a specific type of player but I don't think she's always a first choice.

Roestbakken is pretty quick, but not a big central defender. Saw her in a game last season marking Kerr and she kept up with her runs for most of the match but ended up giving away a penalty in a 1-0 loss. Apparently she's a junior 100m/200m sprint champ.
 

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Personal apology from Heather Reid to Alen Stajcic and a statement from the FFA confirming that it exercised a right of termination under its contract with Stajcic and paid him out, and acknowledging that Heather Reid's statements caused speculation about the termination of the contract.

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/ffa-issues-formal-apology-to-stajcic-20190531-p51t3b.html
It was disgraceful behaviour by Reid. I would have liked to have seen her dragged through the courts by Stajcic. One can only assume the FFA paid out big time in his settlement. The only good thing to come out of this is that Reid's reputation is shot and she's out of a position of authority in running the game.
 

Tigerssaints

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It was disgraceful behaviour by Reid. I would have liked to have seen her dragged through the courts by Stajcic. One can only assume the FFA paid out big time in his settlement. The only good thing to come out of this is that Reid's reputation is shot and she's out of a position of authority in running the game.
the damning report ,was by Natasha stott Despoja
 

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Do we have to turn every ******* thread into a culture war issue!
Nice try. Maybe you would have a point if the administration of the women's game hadn't been turned into a culture war issue.

In the light of widespread criticism of Milicic's coaching it's relevant to revisit the circumstances of the sacking of the previous coach, Alen Stajcic. At the time FFA board member, Heather Reid, alleged

It's a pity that there aren’t more parents and players prepared to speak up about some of his behaviour. If people knew the actual facts, they would be shocked. I can refer you to some people who were involved with the Green and Gold Army who were in Jordan for the Asian Cup and talked to parents and heard their concerns about the welfare of their daughters. And talk to players about their situation in the team.​
if the whole truth could be told, Mr Stajcic would never work again in women’s football.​

As this article in the Age reported,

an FFA board member warned Stajcic that powerful forces within the game wanted him sacked and replaced with a female coach. "They're out to get you," he was told.​
talk of a divided team environment, riddled with cliques, made even more complex by the fact that some players have been in relationships with each other​
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer...-plot-to-have-him-sacked-20190122-p50szc.html

Reid has now unreservedly withdrawn those allegations and apologised. Stajcic was one of the most successful coaches in the Matildas history and the FFA has acknowledged there were no behavioural issues. His sacking was purely political.
 
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stax on the mull

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So why is it that the statements of apology from Reid and the FFA came a week before the first world cup match the Matildas played? Couldn't it wait another month until after the tournament?
 

Crankitup

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By the middle of 2018, there was fresh unease within the Matildas.

One of the thornier issues was tensions between Stajcic and some of his players over how to manage the balance between high-performance sport and sexual politics. Some players didn’t see why teammates sharing a bed should disrupt team harmony on the pitch. The coach took a different view. Some parents of some younger players raised separate concerns about senior teammates making sexual advances towards them.
“We are talking about personal relationships and predilections inside the Matildas squad being thought to distract from performance,’’ an FFA insider said. “Alen was trying to enforce a soccer regime and was being railroaded by a more powerful group who saw it as against their interests.’’
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sp...e/news-story/618da6dad51d7dc5afd904494aa0f6f6
 

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giggler99

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Stajcic review will have to wait until A-League's independence war ends

by Vince Rugari

Football Federation Australia is set to iron out the details of an independent review into the sacking of Matildas coach Alen Stajcic - but it will have to wait until after the A-League's long-running battle for independence is resolved.
As the dust settles on Australia's disappointing campaign at the Women's World Cup in France, the immediate attention of FFA powerbrokers will revert back to the professional game ahead of a looming deadline for talks on Sunday.
It's understood the FFA board will meet within the next week or two, when the particulars of a proposed investigation of Stajcic's sacking are to be discussed.
No external person or group has been identified to conduct the review, nor any terms of reference drafted, but there is a thirst for answers about exactly why Stajcic was removed just six months out from a major tournament, and how FFA could bungle his removal so badly.Ending the impasse at the heart of the professional game, however, remains the absolute priority. There is less than a week to go until June 30, which was the targeted date for the end of negotiations over a new operating and governance model for the A-League and W-League

The Matildas' poor performance in France has also underlined that the women's game is in need of attention. European nations are on the rise, with increased expenditure paired with existing football infrastructure leading to rapid improvements which have been evident at the World Cup.
Australia is at risk of falling behind unless similar investments are made in women's football, including the W-League, which runs for only 12 matches. Most corresponding competitions in Europe run for double that length. The Herald understands the next W-League season could be extended by an additional two rounds, but only if a suitable free-to-air television partner can be found.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/loss-by-matildas-puts-heat-on-powerbrokers-20190623-p520ju.html
 

giggler99

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STAGNATED W-LEAGUE AT HEART OF MATILDAS’ WOES
David Davutovic, Herald Sun

It’s groundhog day when it comes to Australian national teams at major tournaments.

Yet again trivial debates eclipse huge issues which are plaguing women’s football and, if not rectified, threaten to send the Matildas down the world pecking order.

FFA deserves all the criticism it gets for its woefully inadequate handling of the Alen Stajcic sacking, and the Australian public still awaits an explanation.

But the “Matildas are ranked 6th, they should beat [insert rapidly improving world football opponent]” claim is akin to “the Socceroos should be smashing Asian teams like Thailand” argument. It smacks of ignorance.


The Matildas will face some hard truths — but the W-League could provide the answers. Picture: AP
Like the men’s game, Australia’s issues lie in the lack of growth and limited opportunities for youngsters and that was reflected in the Matildas’ World Cup squad.

In 2011, four 20-year-olds (Elise Kellond-Knight, Tameka Butt, Kyah Simon and Elysse Perry), three 17-year-olds (Sam Kerr, Emily van Egmond and Teigen Allen) plus a 16-year-old (Caitlin Foord, who won best young player of the tournament) emerged to provide spark, complimenting an experienced backbone of Heather Garriock, Lisa De Vanna, Melissa Barbieri, Sally Shipard, Collette McCallum and Kim Carroll.

Most of the 2011 kids have become world-class, but the production line has slowed. This despite junior participation numbers increasing significantly since 2011, along with junior coaching standards.


The Matildas’ 2011 World Cup squad had blended youth and experience, with the first XI including youngsters Ellyse Perry, Emily van Egmond, Kyah Simon, Caitlin Foord and Elise Kellond-Knight. Picture: AFP
The “bottleneck”, which is having a detrimental effect on the Socceroos, is in play in the women’s game.
The W-League has remained relatively stagnant (12 games now compared to 10, and nine teams compared to eight when it started), while the rest of the world has grown rapidly especially in the last few years.

Yet the number of Australians getting first-team opportunities each week has drastically declined.
While the rise in foreigners has lifted the standard of the W-League, it has come at the expense of local players.

Sam Kerr, pictured in 2011, made her W-League debut age 15 and was a regular by 16.
Last season saw a record high 40 visa players signed in the W-League, compared to 10 in the 2010-11 and 21 in the 2014-15 seasons that preceded previous World Cups.

That means that as little as 76 Aussies took the W-League field each week, compared to 102 in 2011 and 91 in 2015.

The 2019 World Cup squad had just three players under 20 — Ellie Carpenter, late call-up Karly Roestbakken and teen sensation Mary Fowler (currently playing in the state league).

Roestbakken impressed in her limited minutes, but prospects such as Kyra Cooney-Cross (Victory), Sofia Sakalis (Melbourne City), Leah Davidson (Brisbane) and Remy Siemsen (Western Sydney) have not been afforded as many minutes as they would have previously.

Victory attacker Kyra Cooney-Cross, caught between visa duo Yukari Kinga and Rebekah Stott, was among the teenagers slated to play more minutes. Pic: Michael Klein
That has reflected in the Matildas average age — 25.9 in 2019, compared to 24 in 2015 and 22.9 in 2011.

With apologies to Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Perth Glory, one could argue that expansion club Melbourne City and Canberra United — the only club without an A-League affiliate — have done most to progress the W-League.

City’s investment was unparalleled (facilities, professionalism and wages) and lifted standards across the board.

Canberra showed what can be done when resources and energy are focused exclusively on a women’s team.


When they were fresh-faced … Sam Kerr (front) and Caitlin Foord were W-League teammates at Sydney FC.
The top tier of overseas women’s leagues are littered with examples of women’s teams who are outdoing their lower tier male counterparts or stand-alone including: Bristol City, Yeovil Town (England); Tavagnacco, Orobica Bergamo (Italy); Granadilla, Logrono (Spain); NTV Beleza, INAC Kobe Leonessa, Nojima Stella, Iga Kunoichi (Japan) and Turbine Potsdam, SC Sand (Germany).

Nonetheless, the investment of mega clubs like Juventus, Fiorentina, Bercelona, Atletico Madrid, Manchester City and Arsenal has helped their respective European nations make huge strides in recent years while Australia’s stagnated.

South Melbourne and Central Coast are among the clubs whose W-League applications have been rejected. Now it’s time for Australia to be bold and grow the W-League, or else we risk falling behind — an extra club should be added this coming W-League season.


Alen Stajcic’s botched sacking has deflected attention from some big issues facing women’s football development. Pic: Brett Costello
FFA currently runs the W-League, but looking beyond 2020 it is evident that it will take an independent body to turbocharge the domestic game (the talk is that the Premier League will eventually take over England’s women’s league, currently run by the FA).

With our appetite to watch emerging Aussie talent coupled with the obvious benefits for the Matildas, serious consideration should be given to the reduction of visa players from 4+1 (+1 being a guest player) per club to three (2019-20) and eventually two (2020-21).

The extra club and reduced visa spots will translate to 20 extra Aussie women playing each week.

That could be the difference between a Tokyo 2020 medal and another round of internal squabbling about our latest “underachievement”.

 
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Dixie Flatline

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Kerr's first game back in the NSWL she scores a hat trick for Chicago. Hopefully those rumours of an offer made to join Chelsea are true, because I think she needs to test herself in a stronger league.

Looks like most of the Matildas who play in the NWSL are back with their clubs, as I've seen tweets from the Thorns and the Pride promoting the return of their Australian players, plus Logarzo, Harrison, Carpenter and Kerr all played on the weekend for their respective clubs.
 

Dixie Flatline

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Matildas to play two friendlies against Chile in early November - one in Sydney (Bankwest Stadium) on Saturday, 9 November, and one in Adelaide on Tuesday, 12 November.

In the lead-up there will be a training camp for current and potential Matildas to train under Ante Milicic in Sydney. The players invited to attend have been announced earlier today:

NameClub, Country
Mackenzie Arnold (GK)Chicago Red Stars, USA
Ellie CarpenterPortland Thorns, USA
Emma CheckerMelbourne City FC, Australia
Alex ChidiacAtletico Madrid, Spain
Kyra Cooney-CrossFuture Matildas, Australia
Caitlin FoordPortland Thorns, USA
Jacynta GalabadaarachchiWest Ham United, England
Katrina GorryBrisbane Roar FC, Australia
Annie Grove (GK)Future Matildas, Australia
Elise Kellond-KnightWashington Spirit, USA
Alanna KennedyOrlando Pride, USA
Chloe LogarzoWashington Spirit, USA
Rachel LoweUCLA, USA
Jen McCormackFulham United, Australia
Teagan Micah (GK)UCLA, USA
Courtney NevinFuture Matildas, Australia
Hayley RasoPortland Thorns, USA
Karly RoestbakkenFuture Matildas, Australia
Kyah SimonHouston Dash, USA
Tameka YallopKlepp IL, Norway
 

Dixie Flatline

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The Junior Matildas (U-16s) are through to the semi-final of the U-16s AFC Championship after coming from 1-0 down against Bangladesh to secure a 2-2 draw and finish runners-up to Japan in Group A.

There are eight countries competing - Group A saw Japan finish on top with two wins and a draw, ahead of Australia who finished second with two draws and a victory over Thailand, the Thais (who won against Bangladesh and then lost to Australia and to Japan) and then Bangladeshis (who lost their first two group matches to Thailand and to Japan, and then held Australia to a 2-2 draw).

In group B, North Korea finished on top with three wins from three games, then China (two wins and a loss), South Korea (two losses and a win) and Vietnam (three losses).

Australia plays North Korea in the first semi-final on Wednesday, at 3pm AEST. The Matildas website has been live-streaming the Matildas games (and there's no commentary to distract anyone). Japan takes on China in the other semi-final.
 

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The Junior Matildas ended up losing to North Korea in the semi-final and then lost to China 2-1 to finish fourth in the U-16s AFC Championship. The fourth-placed finish (out of eight sides) matches Australia's best ever effort in the U-16s AFC Championship history, with the Junior Matildas finishing fourth in 2009.
 

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A few moves have been made in the lead-up to the W-League season (although it's notable that the FFA has not yet released the fixture for the W-League).

Ellie Carpenter has confirmed she will not be playing for Canberra United this season. Her new club has not yet been revealed.

Karly Roestbakken has re-signed with Canberra United, while Canberra United has also signed Norwegian international Elise Thorsnes, having previously played for Canberra United in 2017-2018.

Emily van Egmond has left the Newcastle Jets to sign with Melbourne City (which will be her fourth club in the W-League, having spent the majority of her career with the Newcastle Jets but also having stints with Canberra United and Western Sydney Wanderers), while Melbourne City also signed Emma Checker, the former Adelaide United captain.

Adelaide United signed Mary and Ciara Fowler, while Sarah Willacy, Laura Johns, Dylan Holmes, Kahlia Hogg and Charlotte Grant all re-signed with Adelaide United.
 

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Melbourne Victory are reported to be set to participate in the inaugural AFC Women's Club Championship, to be staged in November 2019. Although Sydney FC won the W-League Championship, AFC rules have the Victory representing Australia due to the Victory finishing minor premiers in the W-League, in line with the rules of other domestic competitions.

In addition to the Melbourne Victory, Dalian Quanjian FC (China), Nippon TV Beleza (Japan) and Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels (South Korea) are in line to compete, subject to confirmation from each of the clubs.
 

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Although the FFA is yet to announce the W-League fixture (possibly as a result of the mooted AFC Women's Club Championship), it is likely that the W-League will kick off in mid-November 2019. Sydney FC has announced a friendly game to be staged in Wagga Wagga against Newcastle Jets on 3 November at McDonalds Park. Sydney FC will be travelling to Wagga Wagga as part of a new partnership between the club, the Wagga Wagga City Council and Football Wagga Wagga, which will also see the men's team travel in September 2020 to play a pre-season friendly in the regional city.
 

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