Positions on the line for Matildas ahead of double header

Matildas coach Alen Stajcic will give all his squad a chance to impress when Australia takes on New Zealand at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Matildas

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The match is the Matildas final match on home soil before the 2016 Rio Olympics and the last chance for the squad's international based players to come together before the team holds a month long training camp in July.

A 2-0 win against the Football Ferns in Ballarat on Saturday displayed plenty of promise for the Australian womens team but Stajcic knows his squad has work to do before Rio.

“Hopefully by the time we get out there tomorrow we would have improved our cohesion and have a little bit more of the rhythm we had at the qualifiers,” said Stajcic.

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“But really the big picture is just improving all of the things that we can and lay a good foundation for when we get to Brazil.”

Stajcic has the tough task of cutting his squad from 20 players to 18 before the Olympics and will give all his players the chance to earn their spot on the team.

“We’re pretty close but the final squad won’t be announced until early July so even if you look at this group, there are 20 players here and it has to go down to 18 because that’s the number that can play in the tournament so there’s big competition for those last couple of spots,” said Stajcic.

“New Zealand are a tough team, an experienced team and a team that has been together a long time. We’ve got a lot of respect for them and we’re lucky to be able to have these really good hit outs with one of our neighbours.”

Tuesday's match will be the first part of a big double header at Etihad Stadium ahead of the Socceroos clash with Greece.

Co-captain Lisa De Vanna said she was excited to again be part of what will be a big night of football.

“I was in the team the last time we played a double header with the Socceroos so tomorrow is going to be a great occasion,” said De Vanna.

“I think it shows that we’re starting to slowly go on that path of making football as one in this country, so to have the fans and the families out to support both us and the Socceroos tomorrow night at Etihad Stadium will be fantastic.”


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Published 6 June 2016 at 3:32pm