Morgan Aquino, Leticia McKenna and Jacynta Galabadaarachchi will be jetting off to Lebanon later this week after being named in the Young Matildas squad set to take part in the first phase of qualifying for the 2019 AFC U19 Women’s Championship.
The Glory trio, who all featured against the WA State Team earlier this month, will spend nearly two weeks in Beirut where they are poised to face hosts Lebanon, along with Hong Kong and Mongolia in Group A.
The Young Matildas need to top their group or finish as one of the best two runners-up in order to progress to the second round of qualifying which is scheduled to take place in April of next year.
Gary van Egmond is in charge of the group and he feels that the trip is an important developmental stepping stone for the young players.
“This month’s tournament in Lebanon marks the start of our path to the 2020 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup,” he said.
“Some of the players in our squad, including Princess Ibini, Amy Sayer, and Rachel Lowe, have already featured at senior international level, while many others have been training with us regularly as part of the Future Matildas program.
“Almost all the players in our squad for Lebanon will benefit from involvement with Westfield W-League clubs across the country this season which will support their development ahead of future qualifiers and tournaments with the Westfield Young Matildas.”
The Young Matildas’ first game is on Wednesday 24 October against Mongolia and they follow that by tackling Lebanon two days later before rounding things off on Sunday 28 October when they face Hong Kong.
All of their games are set to taker place in Beirut’s Jounieh Municipal Stadium and we’ll keep you bag up to date with their progress.
(Galabadaraachchi picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)