Matildas turn to youth as big guns sit out friendlies
SAM Kerr, Alanna Kennedy, Lydia Williams and Emily van Egmond are among a string of big-name omissions from a weakened Matildas line-up to face France and England next month.
Katrina Gorry (shin) and Hayley Raso (back) will also be absent for the friendlies in Saint-Etienne on October 5 and in London on October 9, with Ellie Carpenter still a question mark despite being named in the 18-player group due to travel to Europe on Saturday.
Coach Alen Stajcic said Kennedy underwent toe surgery on Monday and put the omission of Kerr and others down to "injury, illness or fatigue".
"This is more being precautionary and looking after our players for the long term," Stajcic said.
"A lot of players that haven't been selected are carrying illness or injury combined with fatigue.
"This is possibly our only window to let some of those players recoup and recover in time for not only the W-League but the World Cup ahead."
In the senior players' absence teen starlets Mary Fowler and Amy Sayer will get a chance to build on their Tournament of Nations debuts while Princess Ibini could earn a fourth cap.
And 18-year-old Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman could make her senior international debut.
"On the flip side I'm actually really excited for the team we're taking over, it allows us to prepare for what may happen at the World Cup if we do have some injuries and need a Plan B to fall back on," Stajcic said.
"With some established Matildas not available for selection, our October matches will give us a great opportunity to test other players in what will be a challenging environment."