Matildas squad for Women's World Cup announced
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Matildas squad for Women's World Cup announced

Canberra United goalkeeper Lydia Williams has won her race against time from a knee reconstruction to reach next month's World Cup.

Just 10 months after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament for the second time, Williams was on Tuesday named in the Matildas' 23-player squad for the tournament in Canada from June 6 to July 5.

Canberra United goalkeeper Lydia Williams has been picked in the Matildas squad for the women's World Cup.

Canberra United goalkeeper Lydia Williams has been picked in the Matildas squad for the women's World Cup.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

Williams is one of three Canberra United players to make the cut along with midfielder Ashleigh Sykes and striker Michelle Heyman.

The biggest talking points were the omissions of Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Brianna Davey and prolific goal-scorer Katie Gill, while 35-year-old Melissa Hudson (nee Barberi) has been picked for her fourth World Cup despite not having played for the Matildas since 2012.

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Canberra United teammates Ashleigh Sykes and Michelle Heyman both made the Matildas' squad.

Canberra United teammates Ashleigh Sykes and Michelle Heyman both made the Matildas' squad.Credit:Getty Images

Williams will be battling it out with Hudson and MacKenzie Arnold as the team's first-choice goalkeeper, but she was relieved to have simply made the squad.

"Personally I haven't worked this hard in my life for anything football-related," Williams said.

"Right from when I got injured to this point now and ongoing, it's just been a whole lot of support from friends, family, teammates, coaches, international players.

"There's been a real drive from me and all those people.

"It's very rewarding at the moment."

Williams established herself as Australia's No.1 goalkeeper before tearing the ACL while playing for the Western New York Flash in the US National Women's Soccer League in July last year.

She has played seven games in her comeback, including with Tuggeranong United in the women's Capital Football Premier League.

Matildas coach Alen Stajic said he was confident in Williams returning to the pitch.

"She's done really well since she's come back and she's really earned her spot on the team," Stajic said.

"She's worked extremely hard through the rehab and she's done a tremendous effort to get back as strong and as fit as she has done.

"Her performances are starting to improve week to week, which is good signs for the month ahead."

Sykes and Heyman will be playing in their first World Cup.

Sykes is coming off a terrific season for Canberra United in the W-League, winning the award for goal of the season.

Heyman has scored 11 times in 33 appearances for the national team.

"I thought Ash struggled at the Asian Cup last year and she started quietly in the W-League as well, but the last three weeks of the W-League she was instrumental in Canberra winning the competition," Stajic said.

"Since she's rejoined the squad, she's been unbelievable. She's the most improved player in the team.

"(Heyman) has the whole package - she's mobile, she's aggressive and follows team instructions to a tee."

The Matildas open their World Cup campaign against the US on June 9 (AEST) as part of a challenging group including Sweden and Nigeria.

Matildas squad: 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 2. Larissa Crummer, 3. Ashleigh Sykes, 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 5. Laura Alleway, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 7. Steph Catley, 8. Elise Kellond-Knight, 9. Caitlin Foord, 10. Emily van Egmond, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Leena Khamis, 13. Tameka Butt, 14. Alanna Kennedy, 15. Teresa Polias, 16. Hayley Raso, 17. Kyah Simon, 18. Melissa Hudson (gk), 19. Katrina Gorry, 20. Samantha Kerr, 21. Mackenzie Arnold (gk), 22. Nicola Bolger, 23. Michelle Heyman.