Matilda’s Cup of Nations squad: Chloe Logarzo left boisterous by Tony Gustavsson’s plans

Tony Gustavsson gave an insight into his World Cup planning with his squad announcement for the Cup of Nations, writes TILLY WERNER.

Chloe Logarzo’s lack of playing time at Western United appears to have proved costly as the 55-cap midfielder was dropped from Matildas’ squad for next month’s Cup of Nations.

Tony Gustavsson has nominated a largely unchanged squad that will face Spain, Jamaica and the Czech Republic in February, with Logarzo the only regular to miss out on squad selection.

Logarzo has struggled to prove her fitness to play since returning from a cruciate ligament injury in 2021 and managed just one substitute against South Africa last October.

While Logarzo was involved in the November window camps, Gustavsson opted to play Alex Chidiac and Emily van Egmond off the bench over them in friendlies against Thailand and Sweden.

It’s a worrying sign for the struggling playmaker with less than six months to go before a home World Cup. There are less than 10 rounds left in the women’s A-League season and Western United are unlikely to oust Melissa Taranto or Jaclyn Sawicki from their league-leading starting XI.

In other selection news, Matilda McNamara makes way for World Cup bolter Clare Hunt, who, despite Wanderers’ form, is attracting a lot of domestic attention as they struggle to climb from the middle of the A-League rankings.

While Hunt’s rise has been stymied by injury, she has helped Wanderers set one of the best defensive records in the league and secured the club’s best and fairest pitch in 2022, despite spending a significant part of the season on the bench.

The Cup of Nations is Hunt’s first call for a national team camp. And with injuries plaguing the Matildas’ backline for the past 12 months, their timing could prove critical.

The 23-year-old offers pace, grunt and youth against the experience of Matilda’s mainstay Clare Polkinghorne, who joins the squad midway through her season break at Vittsjo GIK.

With their Cup of Nations opponents remaining the immediate task, Hunt will want to prove that her speed and ball power match Polkinghorne’s skill and experience against the pace of Canada forwards Jordyn Huitema and Adriana Leon.

The duo wreaked havoc on Australia’s defenses when the teams met last September and will worry Gustavsson as he considers how best to quell Canada’s attack when the teams meet at the World Cup in July.

The Cup of Nations squad announcement also has fans awaiting the fitness of Ellie Carpenter and Kyah Simon, who have returned from cruciate ligament injuries.

Still working to prove her fitness with club Lyon, Carpenter will channel her best Harry Souttar as she battles through her rehabilitation against a tightening time frame.

Til Werner

Til Wernercontent producer

Tilly Werner is an emerging talent in the world of sports journalism with a particular focus on AFL, football, basketball and disability sports. With a Graduate Diploma in Sports Management (UTS) and a Bachelor of International Studies (UNSW), Tilly’s writing endeavors go beyond the game and explore the stories behind athletes and their connection to the world around them. Tilly also has a distinguished career in athletics and currently sits on the board of NSW Goalball as Executive Director. Influencing your writing style is extensive career writing for NFP charities, sports organizations and the NSW Parliament. Tilly currently writes and produces for CODE Sports at News Corp Australia. Matilda’s Cup of Nations squad: Chloe Logarzo left boisterous by Tony Gustavsson’s plans

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