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Jun 14, 2011

Matildas will be fearless, says coach

Matildas coach Tom Sermanni says the fearlessness of his many youngsters will be an asset at the women's World Cup but admits he is still to finalise his starting side.

The 21-woman squad, which includes just three players aged over 25, seven teenagers and 11 players 21 or under, flew out to Germany on Tuesday.

Sermanni will use practice matches against Mexico on June 20 and England three days later to finalise his side for their World Cup opener against world No.3 Brazil in Moenchengladbach on June 30 (AEST).

"At the moment, I honestly don't know exactly what my starting team is," Sermanni told reporters on Tuesday.

"I'm still two or three players away from that."

Sermanni admitted to having some concern his young players could get awestruck playing against powerful Brazil but was encouraged by the fact they hadn't shown any fear in the past.

"They haven't reached that age of fear yet and that's an asset for us I think," Sermanni said.

While former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek was lambasted for his defensive formation in their first 2010 World Cup match against Germany last year, Sermanni intended to take a more positive approach.

"We've got to go into each game with a view of 'how can we actually win this game?' and to win games you've got to try and attack," Sermanni said.

"We've got good mobility, good pace.

"If you look over the last couple of years, we don't lack goalscorers ... so that's a big asset for us.

"It's important that we utilise that asset rather than being negative and defensive minded."

He was happy to play unknown African qualifier Equatorial Guinea second up on June 3, followed by Norway on June 7 (AEST).

Striker Lisa De Vanna, who made a major impact on the 2007 World cup playing primarily off the bench, is more likely to start in Germany.

"Until probably about a year ago, De Vanna preferred starting off the bench," Sermanni said.

"Sometimes she would actually be honest and say 'I'm not ready to start today but I'll be ready by halftime.

"She's such a game breaker that you would listen to her and do that but I think she's reached the stage now where we will probably need her to start in these games."

Sermanni was satisfied De Vanna was in the right frame of mind to perform after being booted out of a recent Matildas training camp for disciplinary reasons.

"We've got a management structure in place where we deal with Lisa and she's back in and she's focused and I think she's ready to play," Sermanni said.

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