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'Never make excuses': The Matildas aren't just going to the Olympics to make up the numbers

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7th June, 2024

The Matildas squad has been selected for the upcoming Paris Olympics, which starts on the 26th of July.

Sam Kerr was out of selection due to a knee injury she suffered in training camp for club team Chelsea. That is a huge loss for the Matildas.

However, Steph Catley who captained Australia at the 2023 World Cup is more than capable of leading the side.

There were a few shocks in the selections, which is bound to happen when you can only choose eighteen people. Most notably Charlotte Grant wasn’t selected.

The 22-year-old Tottenham Hotspur star didn’t quite make the cut.

It is challenging to select just eighteen players, as coach Tony Gustavsson pointed out; “This has been an incredibly challenging squad to select with so many quality players competing fiercely for limited spots”.

Gustavsson has essentially selected Claire Polkinghorne as cover at centre-back instead of Grant who would be cover at full-back. She will still travel to Paris in July as an injury reserve.


Veteran goalkeeper Lydia Williams who has over 100 caps for the Matildas said her goodbyes to the crowd after Australia’s 2-0 win over China on June 3.

She has played in five World Cups and two Olympic Games for the Matildas; it is going to be strange for her not to be there.

Number one Mackenzie Arnold and her backup Teagan Micah will be the goalkeepers for the Olympic Games.

Ellie Carpenter celebrates a goal.

Ellie Carpenter celebrates a goal. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

There are doubts surrounding star players Caitlin Ford and Catrina Gorry, both currently recovering from injuries. Ford with her hamstring and Gorry with her ankle.

The pair were crucial for Australia during their World Cup campaign in 2023. The whole of Australia will be wishing them well and hoping to see them on the field in Paris.

Gustavsson outlined the team’s ambitions by saying: “In terms of ranking, we shouldn’t even make it to the quarter-final, but we want more than that. You know this team; they will never make excuses. We’re just going to go there and do what we want to do and that is to try for a medal”.


The Matildas will kick off their Olympic campaign against Germany on the 26th of July at 3:00 am AEST.

Followed by matches against Zambia on the 29th of July, also at 3:00 am AEST. To finish the group stage Australia will play one of the favourites in the United States on the 1st of August, and shockingly the game is at 3:00 am AEST.

The Matildas have never won an Olympic medal and will be hoping this time will be different. They came very close in 2020 at the Tokyo Olympic Games, losing in the bronze medal match 4-3 against the United States.

The Matildas will surely want some revenge for four years ago when they verse them in the group stage this time around.

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Australia are going into the tournament ranked number twelve in the FIFA rankings.