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Western United to face Young Matildas in showpiece in the West

Kahli Johnson Western United

Western United will highlight young talent in the West when the Liberty A-League Women side takes on the Young Matildas in a friendly next month.

Leah Blayney’s Young Matildas squad is set to reside out West for a training camp from February 13-22, in partnership with Wyndham City Council, facing United and Melbourne City in friendly matches.

Western United Head Coach Mark Torcaso is eager for his players to perform and put themselves in the spotlight in front of national team selectors.

“This is a great opportunity for the Young Matildas and Leah to prepare for some upcoming games. We are excited to assist in this and it’s great for some of our young players to be showcased,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity for our girls to perform in front of the Young Matildas coach. We do have some fantastic young players that I believe would be more than capable of earning an opportunity in working with Leah and this team.”

Green and Black star Alana Cerne is age eligible for the Young Matildas and has started the Liberty A-League season in fine form. The No.22 would be aiming for her first call-up to a national team camp.

Kahli Johnson already has experience of playing with Blayney’s Young Matildas, having featured throughout the qualification campaign and tournament proper for last year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica, where she played in all three group stage matches.

Johnson was also selected for a training camp in September alongside Western United teammate Silver Bell Morris, who will hope to feature again.

Blayney is eager for her new crop of players to test themselves against quality senior opposition and thanked the clubs for their support of the program..

“United and City are two teams who possess some exceptional older players for our youth national team to come up against as a collective in what will be a challenging trial,” she said.

“We would also like to acknowledge the collaboration with both clubs in working with us to ensure higher level games on home soil during a critical time in our preparations.”

The match against the Young Matildas will lead Blayney’s side into the first set of qualifiers for the 2024 AFC U-20 Asian Cup to be held in Uzbekistan, with the team travelling to face Kyrgyz Republic, Guam and Iraq in early March.

The friendly will take place during the allocated FIFA window, allowing Torcaso’s side to remain conditioned during the break in the Liberty A-League season.