Superstar striker Sam Kerr has been named as the Matildas’ new captain ahead of the Cup of Nations.
Recently appointed coach Ante Milicic has decided to put the captain’s armband on one of the most talented players in not only the Matildas set-up but world football.
Kerr is not without captaincy experience, having led Perth Glory on their way to the 2018-19 W-League grand final – a campaign which saw her dominate in front of goal.
The 25-year-old attacker has already made 72 appearances for Australia, in which she’s scored 27 goals, and is now tasked with leading the team at the Cup of Nations and – more significantly – the World Cup in France later this year.
Milicic has also named a new vice-captain, with Melbourne City skipper Steph Catley to step into that post. Catley, who is also 25, has a similar level of experience with the national team as Kerr, with 69 caps to her name since her debut back in 2012.
“Sam [Kerr] and Steph [Catley] have impressed me greatly,” Milicic said.
“We had four great training sessions and several team and individual meetings while we were in Brisbane, and to me their qualities as leaders of this group stood out.
“With any honour comes responsibility, however I trust that Sam and Steph, as well as the other leaders in our squad, are ready to grasp the opportunity to push this team to a new level.”
The Matildas captaincy had been shared between a number of players under the previous coaching tenure of Alen Stajcic. Defender Clare Polkinghorne and veteran attacker Lisa De Vanna were the last two players to rotate the armband between them, while Elise Kellond-Knight, Emily van Egmond and Catley have also skippered the side in recent years.
The Cup of Nations gets underway on Thursday night, as the Matildas take on New Zealand at Leichhardt.