Will Galabadaarachchi get her Matildas debut?

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi thought the phone call might never come.  The uncapped 21-year-old hadn’t been seriously on the Matildas radar since receiving a call-up to a training camp at 15 in 2017.

Galabadaarachchi call-up

  • Jacynta Galabadaarachchi has been called up to the Matildas camp for the upcoming Spain and Portugal matches.
  • The 21-year old has last been on the Matildas radar in 2017.
  • Galabadaarachchi is currently signed to Scotland’s Celtic FC.

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Also eligible to play for Argentina and Italy, the Celtic breakout star and former Junior and Young Matilda had prepared for the possibility of switching allegiances.

Now, Galabadaarachchi has been called up for this month’s friendlies against Spain and Portugal.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the Matildas squad, but I’m just honoured and really, really excited to get going,” she said.

While keeping her options open, the call-up has Galabadaarachchi thinking that dream of representing Australia at next year’s World Cup might still be within reach.

“Australia and the Matildas are amazing, and they’re obviously hosting the World Cup which is such an amazing thing,” Galabadaarachchi said.

“But I’m also Argentinian and Italian and I hadn’t been called up into the Matildas for a while.

“It’s always the coaches’ decision, who they call up. My parents always said I have options if worst comes to worst, and I wasn’t sure.

“But now I’ve been invited to this camp, so we’ll just have to see how things go.”

Galabadaarachchi emerged at Melbourne City and also spent time at Perth before moving overseas full-time.

Stints at West Ham and Napoli followed, but she has settled best at Celtic under Spanish coach Fran Alonso.

That included claiming the Scottish players’ association young player of the year award and Celtic’s player of the season award.

“The style we play, it really suits me. He lets me embrace the player that I am,” she said.

“I got settled in there, it took me a while but the last nine months I became really comfortable with the team, with the girls and I just love the club, the way that we play.”

Technically Galabadaarachchi has also matured at Celtic, embracing the less-heralded parts of football, like hard running and physicality.

“That’s just added to my game and I’m more of a complete player now compared to when I was younger,” she said.

Galabadaarachchi delighted at the prospect of facing Spain’s Barcelona stars Alexia Putella and Jenni Hermoso, but if she debuts, plans to keep it simple.

“To play against players like that would just be absolutely amazing, players that play for Barcelona. It would just be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Galabadaarachchi said.

“I just want to be myself (with) flair, dribbling, creativity on the pitch.

“I’m just going to play how I’ve been playing and hope for the best.”


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With the squad announcement to face Spain and Portugal, Matildas manager Tony Gustavsson has shown that he is unafraid to take risks as he searches for the best team to win the World Cup. It is one of the least experienced international squads of Gustavsson’s tenure.


“Invest in yourself as a person and a player”: Beattie Goad talks football, college and the Matildas

Goad has played in some of the most competitive leagues and against some of the best players in the world as the only Spanish-based Matilda in the Primera División this past season.

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