Three Reign FC players will represent Australia at the Women’s World Cup in France, the Football Federation of Australia announced earlier today. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams, defender Steph Catley and midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight will join the Matildas as they search for their first World Cup title.
Williams has 70 caps for Australia dating back to her debut in 2005. The keeper has helped the Matildas to one Women’s Asian Cup in 2010 and two runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2014. Williams has seen action for Australia at the 2015 and 2011 World Cups and made the roster without playing at the 2007 World Cup in China. Williams also made three starts for the Matildas at the 2016 Olympic Games.
“It’s always an honor to be called into camp to represent my country, but obviously the World Cup is the pinnacle of football competition,” Williams said. “I’m over the moon and so excited to be a part of the Australian team to compete in France.”
Catley has 67 caps for Australia since her debut in 2012. The defender made five appearances for Australia in the 2015 Women’s World Cup before being eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual runner-up Japan.
“Mostly I feel proud,” Catley said of her selection. “It’s a moment and a feeling that you can’t really put into words. Every time I represent Australia, it’s an honor. And to be chosen to do that at a World Cup for the second time, amongst so many other incredible players, I’m just really excited.”
Kellond-Knight’s 106 caps ranks sixth all-time for the Matildas, stretching back to her debut as a 16-year-old in 2007. The midfielder has previously represented Australia at the 2015 and 2011 World Cups, as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“It’s always an honor to get a call-up for the national team, even if it’s just for a cap or a tournament, it’s the same feeling of pride,” Kellond-Knight said. “But for a World Cup, it’s special. It’ll be my third. That’s quite significant. I think I can give a lot of experience to the squad. I think this group of players have our best shot of actually walking away with some sort of silverware at the tournament. It’s a real opportunity to be a part of the team.”
No. 6 Australia is the top-ranked team in Group C. The Matildas will play No. 10 Brazil, No. 15 Italy and No. 53 Jamaica in the group stage. Australia defeated Brazil 1-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2015 tournament before losing to eventual runner-up Japan in the quarterfinals.