Sam Kerr aims to play at next World Cup but Matildas face mass exodus

Sam Kerr aims to play at next Women’s World Cup but Matildas face a mass exodus of ageing players that created history in 2023 tournament

  • Kerr will be 29 when the 2027 Women’s World Cup is played 
  • A host of Matildas are likely to have retired by then 
  • WATCH: Mail Sport’s preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’ ahead of the big games

Sam Kerr plans to be around for the Matildas’ next crack at Women’s World Cup glory.

But the inspirational captain isn’t sure how many of her teammates would join her at her fifth tournament.

Lydia Williams (35), Clare Polkinghorne (34), Aivi Luik (38), Kyah Simon (32), Tameka Yallop (32) and Katrina Gorry (31) all appear unlikely to be around.

Kerr (29), Steph Catley (29), Caitlin Foord (28), Alanna Kennedy (28), Hayley Raso (28) and Emily van Egmond (30) will be at the tail end of their careers, or retired, in four years’ time.

The captain doesn’t plan on being the latter.

Sam Kerr had an injury-disrupted 2023 Women’s World Cup and is hungry to return in 2027, but she knows a number of teammates won’t be there

‘I hope to be here. I am only 29. I think most of us will still be here if we have the opportunity,’ Kerr told reporters.

‘We have to play at our club. We have to play well and stay injury-free. There might be a few more babies maybe. I don’t know. Four years is a long time but I hope the core group is still together.

‘Of course there will be people come into the side and take someone’s position and people that might not want to keep playing but at the moment I haven’t heard talks of anyone retiring.

‘As long as there are 22 spots everyone here will be fighting for four years to come.’

Kyah Simon is one of the Matildas’ best but was cruelly robbed of playing in Australia because of a knee injury. She is one of the players that could be retired before the 2027 tournament

Katrina Gorry will be 31 in 2027 and may be fighting for her spot while veteran defender Clare Polkinghorne will be 34

Incredible debut World Cups from Mary Fowler (20), Kyra Cooney-Cross (21) and Clare Hunt (24) give plenty of reason to believe.

‘Obviously we have got lots of young players in our team like Mary (Fowler) and Ellie (Carpenter) and you think we are in a really good place here,’ Kerr said.

‘You look at the other end (of the age spectrum) and you think we could lose a few and that’s sad but that is sport.

‘There are probably 10 or 12 players that we have never heard of that will be at the next World Cup and that is exciting.

‘There are a couple of players at this World Cup that probably won’t be in the Matildas team anymore. They would have retired but you never know. That is the amazing thing about sport and why this tournament is special.

‘It only happens every four years and the teams are forever changing. Women’s football is changing quicker than people could have ever imagined.’

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The 2027 World Cup will be hosted by either Brazil, a USA-Mexico joint bid, a Belgium-Netherlands-Germany joint bid or South Africa.

But first, Kerr will turn her focus to Saturday night’s third-placed play-off against Sweden.

‘We wanted to leave a legacy and have this moment for 10 or 20 years. I think we have already done that but to win a bronze medal and bring a World Cup medal to this country would be amazing,’ she said.

‘It really feels like we have brought the nation together over football. Some people might have said we were crazy if we had said this was going to happen a year ago.’

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