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Junior Matildas kicking goals at the AIS

16 February 2024

The Junior Matildas have been put through their paces by the AIS Performance Services team as part of a week-long training camp on campus.

A squad photo of the 30 players attending the February Junior Matildas training camp
The Junior Matildas squad at the February AIS training camp

In preparation for the 2024 AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup, head coach Rae Dower has assembled a squad of 30, welcoming back several players from the A-League Women's competition.

As part of an annual check in, AIS senior physiologist Philo Saunders and the team measured each player’s explosive power, assessed their maximum speed, their ability to change direction and their endurance.

"The Junior Matildas have everything they need on site for their training, conditioning, recovery and also education around different aspects of performance, like nutrition," Saunders said.

Football Australia sport scientist Mikayla Lyons said the testing wasn’t about individual comparisons, but rather seeing where they are on their developmental trajectory, given players are aged between 15 and 17.

"We're trying to profile them and give them some feedback of where they can improve... You can see even from a year ago there's so much development and growth that happens".

A Junior Matilda doing a vertical jump test with the AIS Performance Services team.
The AIS Performance Services team testing the explosive power of the Junior Matildas with a vertical jump test.

This is the second camp for the Junior Matildas at the AIS this year, and they will be back again in March as the coaching team gets to the pointy end of selecting the 23-player squad to represent Australia.

"Coming back to the AIS, it feels like home," Australian U17 player Ruby Cuthbert said.

"As soon as we step on the field, we all know that we're here to do a job, but off the field we just hang around in the courtyard chatting and catching up, which is really good".

The Junior Matildas are one of 20 camps visiting the AIS this month across 14 different sports.

Two Junior Matildas players battling for the ball during a match
The training camp ended with the Junior Matildas participating in an internal match.
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