With the Women’s World Cup just three weeks away Matildas boss Ante Milicic has named his squad, with sixteen year old Mary Fowler the surprise inclusion in an otherwise vastly experienced squad.
Matildas legend and regular Box2Box guest Joey Peters this week expressed her excitement, while reserving judgement over Fowler’s inclusion.
“Looking at this squad, the excitement has kicked in, because this group of players are something special individually, and as a team. Hold onto your seats, because I’m getting excited!”
“The big shock was Mary Fowler included (despite) not having many opportunities. This is the culture we’re starting to talk about in Australian women’s football, we’re still heavily excited about young talent, but is she good enough to be there? I think she is”.
However Peters questioned whether Fowler’s exposure at senior level at such a young age might cost her down the track. She pointed to Kyah Simon, sadly omitted from the squad due to injury, as a cautionary tale.
“Kyah Simon…this is a sad story. She is still battling injury when she should be at her prime”.
Peters noted the United States college system helps players between 18-22 develop, before stepping into the national team as mature, senior players.
The Australian system by contrast doesn’t allow this protection, and over-exposure at an early age may lead to problems down the track.
“Unfortunately Kyah Simon is an example where they get into what should be their prime years, but they’re broken.”