Alex Chidiac has been reinstated in the Matildas’ squad for the team’s upcoming two-match series against Canada after three injuries led to a shake-up.
World Cup heroes Mackenzie Arnold and Charlotte Grant, along with elevated prospect Holly McNamara, have been ruled out of the international friendlies with injury.
McNamara was previously withdrawn from the squad last Tuesday after receiving confirmation that she had ruptured her right ACL while playing for Melbourne City in the A-League.
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During a standard pre-camp evaluation, Grant was diagnosed with a hamstring injury, ruling her unavailable, while an arm injury will sideline Arnold.
Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has since named midfielder Chidiac, forward Remy Siemsen and goalkeeper Jada Whyman as replacements in the 23-player squad for the team’s training camp in British Columbia.
Chidiac’s initial cut from the squad made way for World Cup squad member Aivi Luik, McNamara and striker Charlize Rule.
The 24-year-old Chidiac had brief cameos in three of the Matildas’ FIFA Women’s World Cup matches and featured in Australia’s games during the second round of qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Throughout the Matildas’ run to the semi-finals at the World Cup, Gustavsson was heavily criticised for repeatedly overlooking and misusing Chidiac, who he dubbed one his ‘game changers’.
Playing a total of 23 minutes, not including stoppage time, throughout the tournament, Chidiac was deployed late in matches and during situations when there was little opportunity to make any real impact on the scoreline.
Hailing from Leicester City and Sydney FC respectively, Siemsen and Whyman participated in the Matildas’ pre-World Cup training camp.
The hamstring injury to Grant comes at a regrettable time with the 22-year-old departing her Swedish club Vittsjö GIK with no confirmation of where she is headed.
The Matildas will use their two international friendlies against Canada as preparation for the final leg of Olympic qualification, capping their stellar year with matches in Victoria, British Columbia on December 2 (AEDT) and Vancouver on December 6.