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Milicic names Matildas squad for Cup of Nations

03:56 EAT 21/02/2019
Matildas
An important warm-up awaits for Australia before the World Cup

Just days after being named as the interim Matildas manager, Ante Milicic has revealed his first squad ahead of the Cup of Nations.

The Matildas face New Zealand, Argentina and Korea Republic in the inaugural tournament later this month on home soil as they prepare for the Women's World Cup in June.

Milicic is eager to make the most of the competition as he looks to come to grips with his new position. 

"I am looking forward to all the players and staff arriving in camp and getting to work,” Milicic said.

"We will have four great days of training in Brisbane before travelling to Sydney to play New Zealand in the first match of the tournament.

“It is important that we make the most of the next two weeks that we have together both on and off the pitch. With matches and travel in quick succession throughout the Cup of Nations, this tournament will replicate some of the demands that we will experience at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, which will be a good test for everyone involved."

After the shock sacking of Alen Stajcic, Milicic is eager to shift the focus back onto the pitch moving forward and believes his lack of experience in women's football won't be an issue.

"I can't change the start of this journey, but as of today I can impact how it will end," he said.

"I'm coming in and the girls are going to have my trust from the start. I'll set the standards, I've done my research, I've spoken to people part of the staff previous and currently. There will be no issues here. The focus will be on the football.

"It's a transition that I'm very comfortable with. The rules are the same - men's and women's. I'm not the first to move across."

While without an injured Kyah Simon, Milicic's first squad boasts a number of familiar names including superstar Sam Kerr along with Spain-based duo Alex Chidiac and Aivi Luik.

Hayley Raso also marks her remarkable recovery from a back injury with a recall.

The Matildas will first face New Zealand on February 28 at Jubilee Stadium before taking on Korea Republic and Argentina in the first week of March.

Full squad: Teigen ALLEN, Laura ALLEWA, Mackenzie ARNOLD (Gk), Tameka BUTT, Eliza CAMPBELL (Gk), Ellie CARPENTER, Steph CATLEY, Alex CHIDIAC, Lisa DE VANNA, Caitlin FOORD, Emily GIELNIK, Princess IBINI, Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, Alanna KENNEDY, Samantha KERR, Chloe LOGARZO, Aivi LUIK, Teresa POLIAS, Clare POLKINGHORNE, Hayley RASO, Gema SIMON, Emily VAN EGMOND, Lydia WILLIAMS (Gk).