Western United stars Jaclyn Sawicki and Angie Beard will represent the Green and Black at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, earning selection for the Philippines in their historic tournament debut.
Sawicki has been a regular in the Filipinas side since Australian Alen Stajcic took over as head coach, while this represents Beard’s first call-up to the squad.
Beard had previously played three times for the Matildas but, after securing her Philippines passport, has switched allegiances and will now join a resurgent Filipinas outfit.
In 2022, Stajcic guided the team to an historic AFF Women’s Championship title, a tournament in which Sawicki shone in midfield.
Consistent results have seen the Philippines climb up the FIFA international rankings, the side breaking into the top 50 for the first time to sit 49th in the world in the latest update in March this year.
Western United General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato said that Sawicki and Beard representing the Club on the world stage will be a special moment.
“This is a magnificent achievement for Jackie and Angie to be going to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup, and everyone at Western United is immensely proud of their success,” he said.
“Both Players have worked extremely hard and richly deserve this opportunity, after coming off an outstanding inaugural season with the Club.
“It’s made even more special by the connection Australia has as a co-host of this tournament and, while Jackie and Angie will both be based in New Zealand, we will be watching closely and supporting them all the way.”
The Philippines have been drawn into Group A in the tournament alongside co-hosts New Zealand and European outfits Switzerland and Norway.
Despite facing three top-25 ranked nations, Sawicki, Beard and the entire Philippines squad will enter the tournament full of confidence and ready to make history for their nation.
Their tournament gets underway on the second day, beginning against Switzerland on Friday 21 July with kick-off at 3:00pm AEST, or 5:00pm local time in Dunedin.