Matildas' Fowler cleared for Jamaica clash

Australia coach Ante Milicic has announced teenage prodigy Mary Fowler is fit to play Jamaica.
Australia coach Ante Milicic has announced teenage prodigy Mary Fowler is fit to play Jamaica.

Mary Fowler is in line for a World Cup debut for Australia against Jamaica after finally gaining clearance from a hamstring injury.

The teenage star, who at 16 is the youngest player at the World Cup, has convinced the Matildas medical staff she's ready to go on Wednesday (AEST) after recovering from a hamstring tweak two weeks ago.

The clash against the world No.53s is set to be Australia's easiest group match, and an opportunity to blood the high school student on the world stage.

"It would be good at some stage, if the opportunity presents itself, that she can really show her quality," Milicic said.

"We'll see how the game unfolds.

"We've got to look at every player individually. There are three games in 10 days, it's quite a big ask for us and the work that we've put in."

Fowler has played five times for Australia but could still declare for Ireland or Papua New Guinea until she plays at the World Cup, which would bind her to the Matildas.

Milicic stressed Fowler would have to earn a place, rather than being handed a cap simply to lock her in.

"She's got a lot of potential. She's worked well, even now, coming back from an injury she's put herself in a position where she's looked good," he said.

"We don't give out minutes or caps for any other reason than someone deserves (it and can) affect a game of football and that's how we'll approach it tomorrow."

Clare Polkinghorne has been ruled out of the second successive match, with Steph Catley to continue at centre back.

Elise Kellond-Knight is another player who has been watched closely after the 3-2 win, given it was her first 90-minute effort for months.

"There's a couple there that we've been monitoring," Milicic said.

"So we're quite pleased with (Fowler's availability) and then KK's pulled up also well today, so she'll be another one that's available for selection."

While Milicic will be watching his team's fitness closely, he won't be looking for updates from Group C's other game.

The outcome of the Brazil-Italy match, which is being played concurrently in Valenciennes, will be just as pivotal in where Australia finishes as their own result.

Should Brazil defeat Italy, the Matildas can snatch top spot with a big win over Jamaica, who have lost their opening two games 3-0 and 5-0.

In the event that Brazil falls short, any Australian win can lift the Matildas into second spot - which would avoid a likely clash with hosts France next up.

Milicic said all those permutations weren't on his mind.

"We'll just focus on what we can control and that's our performance tomorrow," he said.

"We'll concentrate on winning a game of football."

Australian Associated Press