Australia names 16-year-old Amy Sayer in Tournament of Nations squad
The Matildas are set to blood a 16-year-old bolter when they defend their Tournament of Nations crown in the United States -- one of their last formal warm-ups before next year's Women's World Cup.
Amy Sayer is the only uncapped player in coach Alen Stajcic's 20-strong squad for the tournament, which pits Australia against three of the world's leading women's soccer nations in Brazil, the United States and Japan.
Midfielder Sayer is coming off an impressive debut W-League season with Canberra United and also scored three goals in the Young Matildas' recent campaign at the AFF Women's Championship, where they finished runners-up to Thailand.
She is currently playing in the NSW NPL for the North Shore Mariners.
"Really for her, it's a learning curve to see how she goes in our squad," Stajcic told AAP.
"We've tried to drip-feed younger players in over the last two years now, just to give them a taste of what that next level's like.
"For me, she's definitely got the tools to be effective at that level one day.
"But it'll be good for her to learn the way we do things at the Matildas and really see how she adapts to senior international football."
Caitlin Foord has also been included but is yet to fully recover from the foot injury that forced her to miss April's Asian Cup.
Stajcic said Foord was picked primarily to reintegrate her back into the Australian set-up, admitting it would be a "bonus" if she got any game-time at all.
Sayer and Foord aside, the rest of the squad featured in the Asian Cup, while all bar three played at the 2017 Tournament of Nations, where Australia beat the U.S. for the first time.
The Matildas will only play one-off friendlies after this in the lead-up to next year's World Cup in France.
Stajcic is keen to make the most of their last tournament before then -- and to land some psychological blows on some of the teams they will need to beat if they are to win what would be Australia's first senior world championship.
Revenge against Japan, who beat the Matildas 1-0 in the Asian Cup final, is a high priority.
"For me it was certainly a game we should have won by a few," Stajcic said.
"To dominate the game by as much as we did ... if we play them at the World Cup, I still think we've got the weapons to be able to make the game really tough and give us every chance of winning."
Australia's campaign begins in Kansas City on July 26 against Brazil.
Australia squad for the Tournament of Nations:
Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold
Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielders: Amy Sayer, Tameka Butt, Alex Chidiac, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Chloe Logarzo, Emily van Egmond
Forwards: Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna, Caitlin Foord, Emily Gielnik, Samantha Kerr, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Mary Fowler