Mary Fowler of Australia
Mary Fowler of Australia

Fears freakish teen could be lost

ESTABLISHED Matildas squad members hope talented X-factor teenager Mary Fowler won't be lost to Australian soccer and will soon be back in their midst.

The squad for this month's two friendlies against Chile in Penrith and Newcastle gathered in Sydney on Monday, but the 15-year-old Fowler wasn't there.

Striker Fowler, after making her senior international debut earlier this year, is regarded as one of the great emerging talents of Australian football but is also still eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland.

Mary Fowler of Australia
Mary Fowler of Australia

According to Fairfax Media, she was unavailable for the matches against Chile after her father's decision to commit her to a program organised by one of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's coaches ahead of trials with European clubs.

"It's disappointing, it's unfortunate the way that it's panning out and I hope that she comes to (her) senses," Matildas midfielder Chloe Logarzo told AAP on Monday.

"It''s an amazing privilege to be able to pull on the Australian jersey and play for your country so, for me, I can't understand. But she would be a great addition to the team."

Veteran striker Lisa De Vanna was philosophical about the situation. "She's 15-years-old so she's legally binded by whatever decisions her father does and, like any other parent, they are going to think and do what's best for their kid," De Vanna told AAP.

"She's a talented player but she's no different to any other young player that I've seen coming through.

"She's' got a little bit more X-factor but, compared to all the other girls I've been training with, there's still some good players coming through."

Fairfax Media also reported the family was understood to be to be disappointed by some comments Matildas coach Alen Stajcic made about their lifestyle.

Even without Fowler, the Matildas still have a youthful element including Logarzo's 16-year-old Sydney FC teammate Amy Sayer.

"It makes me feel extremely old," the 23-year-old Logarzo joked. "But I guess every footballer has to grow up and mature at a very young age. So the girls that are in here, they don't act their age, which is incredible.


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