New Glory duo called up for Young Matildas camp

New Glory ALW recruits Grace Johnston and Tanika Lala have both been named in the Young Matildas squad which will participate in a training camp in Sydney this week.

28 players have been selected by Head Coach Leah Blayney, with the camp forming a key part of the Young Matildas’ preparation for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024.

Australia booked its place in the Finals following victories over Lebanon, IR Iran and Vietnam in June to top Group B of the second round of qualification and Blayney is now looking forward to casting her eye over her potential squad for the tournament.

“Qualification for next year’s tournament now provides us with some valuable time to search the nation for additional players who can be beneficial to our campaign in Uzbekistan,” she said.

“As the CommBank Matildas’ achievements at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 have shown, there are some incredibly talented young players in Australia and the future is bright. 

“We want to give them the chance to continue developing their qualities in a high-performance environment with staff who deeply care about their progression.”

“It’s also an opportunity for further team cohesion for those players who have been with us consistently since last September. 

“Another focus for us is constructing tactical flexibility within the team as we build towards the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup. 

“A chance to impart and embed our principles early is one we want to fully utilise.”

Johnston and Lala are set to join the Glory squad upon the completion of what has been a very successful NPL WA campaign with Hyundai NTC.

Forward Lala has scored 12 goals, while midfielder Johnston has bagged five and both have played a major role in driving the NTC towards a top-four finish.