SYDNEY (AP) – Australia named its youngest ever lineup Wednesday as it finalized its 21-player squad for this month's Women's World Cup in Germany.
The squad includes 13 World Cup rookies and has an average age of just under 22.
Coach Tom Sermanni included seven players under the age of 20, including domestic player of the year Kyah Simon and Tameka Butt - both 19 - 16-year-old Caitlin Foord and 17-year-olds Emily van Egmond, Sam Kerr and Teigen Allen.
Also included is 20-year-old defender Ellyse Perry - who is also a member of the Australian women's cricket team as an allrounder - and star striker Lisa De Vanna despite recently being expelled from the squad for disciplinary issues.
''This has been one of the toughest selection processes I have ever had to go through and there were a lot of variables the coaching staff had to weigh up before selecting this final 21 player list,'' Sermanni said.
''The team has changed dramatically in the past 18 months and, as I said before the Asian Cup, we will definitely go into this tournament with cautious optimism,'' he said.
The 'Matildas' leave for Germany on June 14 and will play friendlies against Mexico and England ahead of a World Cup opener against Brazil on June 29.
Australia reached a best-ever quarterfinal finish at the 2007 World Cup in China, losing to eventual runner-up Brazil.
Goalkeepers: Melissa Barbieri, Casey Dumont, Lydia Williams.
Defenders: Teigen Allen, Laura Alleway, Kim Carroll, Ellyse Perry, Clare Polkinghorne.
Midfielders: Tameka Butt, Lauren Colthorpe, Heather Garriock, Elise Kellond-Knight, Samantha Kerr, Collette McCallum, Sally Shipard, Servet Uzunlar, Emily van Egmond.
Forwards: Lisa De Vanna, Caitlin Foord, Leena Khamis, Kyah Simon.