Sam Kerr is aiming to play at the next Women’s World Cup, but Matildas faces a mass exodus of aging players that has made history at the 2023 tournament
Sam Kerr plans to be there for the Matildas’ next crack at Women’s World Cup glory.
But the inspirational captain doesn’t know how many of her teammates would join her in her fifth tournament.
Lydia Williams (35), Clare Polkinghorne (34), Aivi Luik (38), Kyah Simon (32), Tameka Yallop (32) and Katrina Gorry (31) all look unlikely to be there.
Kerr (29), Steph Catley (29), Caitlin Foord (28), Alanna Kennedy (28), Hayley Raso (28) and Emily van Egmond (30) will be at the end of their careers, or at the end of their careers. retirement, in four years time.
The captain does not plan to be the latter.
Sam Kerr had an injury-hit 2023 Women’s World Cup and can’t wait to return in 2027, but she knows a number of teammates won’t be there
‘I hope to be here. I’m only 29. I think most of us will still be here if we get the chance,” Kerr told reporters.
“We have to play at our club. We have to play well and not get injured. There could be a few more babies maybe. I don’t know. Four years is a long time but I hope the hard core is still together.
“Of course there will be people who come in from the side and take someone’s place and people who may not want to continue playing, but at the moment I haven’t heard of anyone who would retire.”
“As long as there are 22 places, everyone here will fight for four years.”
Kyah Simon is one of the Matildas’ best but has been cruelly sidelined in Australia with a knee injury. She is among the players who could be retired before the 2027 tournament
Katrina Gorry turns 31 in 2027 and could fight for her place while veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne turns 34
The incredible first World Cups of Mary Fowler (20), Kyra Cooney-Cross (21) and Clare Hunt (24) give plenty of reason to believe.
“Obviously we have a lot of young players on our team like Mary (Fowler) and Ellie (Carpenter) and you think we’re really well positioned here,” Kerr said.
“You look at the other end (of the age spectrum) and you think we might lose a few and it’s sad but that’s sport.
“There are probably 10 or 12 players that we have never heard of who will be at the next World Cup and that is exciting.
“There are a few players at this World Cup who will probably not be part of the Matildas team anymore. They would have retired but you never know. That’s what’s amazing about the sport and why this tournament is special.
“It only happens every four years and teams change all the time. Women’s football is changing faster than people could have ever imagined.
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The 2027 World Cup will be hosted either by Brazil, or a joint United States-Mexico bid, or a joint Belgium-Netherlands-Germany bid, or by South Africa.
But first, Kerr will focus on Saturday night’s third-place play-off against Sweden.
“We wanted to leave a legacy and have this moment for 10 or 20 years. I think we’ve done it before, but to win a bronze medal and bring a World Cup medal to this country would be amazing,” she said.
“It really feels like we’ve brought the nation together around football. Some people might have said we were crazy if we had said this was going to happen a year ago.