Matildas look to fake turf foredge

Matildas’ Lydia Williams with Sports Technology International and Steve Jones ASC General manager of Corporate operations have signed a contract to develop a FIFA two star outdoor synthetic pitch at the Australian Institute of Sport which will assist the Matildas in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Photo: Elesa KurtzCanberra United goalkeeper and player of the year Lydia Williams thinks it’s bizarre they will be playing next year’s World Cup on synthetic pitches in Canada, but the installation of a new artificial pitch at the AIS will give the Matildas an edge on the sport’s biggest stage.

And the Matildas stopper called for a women’s equivalent of the FFA Cup, which was launched in Sydney on Monday.

The AIS will start installing a new $600,000 artificial pitch next week – the same surface German giant Bayern Munich train on. It will be completed by the end of April.

It will form a vital cog in the Matildas’ preparation for the 2015 Cup, which will be predominantly played on synthetic turf.

While Williams said it would be nice to play on grass, she felt artificial turf could be the way of the future.

She was one of three keepers named in the Matildas’ 23-woman squad for the Cyprus Cup from March3-13, where they will play France, Holland and Scotland in the group games.

Striker Michelle Heyman was the only other Canberra United player selected.

”It’s a little bit bizarre I guess [to play on artificial pitches], but … a lot of fields are getting changed to synthetic so maybe the next couple of years we might all be playing on synthetic pitches,” Williams said.

”It would be nice to play on grass since all the league is on grass.

”The newer the pitch the better it is and hopefully that will give us the edge we really need to start focusing in on the [World Cup] competition.”

The FFA announced the structure of its new national knockout cup competition, which gives local clubs such as Tuggeranong United the chance to play against A-League teams.

Williams said it would be great for the women to have a similar competition as well, pitting the eight W-League clubs against state league teams from around the country.

Williams will leave for Europe with the Matildas on Wednesday, with their first game a week later against Scotland.

MATILDAS SQUADTeigen Allen, Laura Alleway, Nicola Bolger, Hannah Brewer, Tameka Butt, Kim Carroll, Stephanie Catley, Emma Checker, Brianna Davey (goalkeeper), Casey Dumont (gk), Caitlin Foord, Kathryn Gill (captain), Katrina Gorry, Michelle Heyman, Elise Kellond-Knight, Alanna Kennedy, Sam Kerr, Leena Khamis, Chloe Logarzo, Hayley Raso, Gema Simon, Emily Van-Egmond, Lydia Williams (gk).

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