The truth behind Kate Gill’s omission

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The Women’s World Cup always seems to bring out the best in the Australian football public. While great to see women’s football talked about so passionately, it is hard to swallow when the loudest opinions are often by those who have watched less than 180 minutes of W-League football since the previous World Cup.

The latest of these opinions is the common outrage of the omission of Kate Gill from Alen Stajcic’s Matildas squad announced yesterday.

Comparisons such as “You wouldn’t drop Tim Cahill from the Socceroos”, outcries of “we need a proven goal scorer at the World Cup” and comments claiming “Alen Stajcic is an absolute joke and destroying football” have become commonplace over the past 24 hours.

What these simple opinions often lack is a base of solid facts. Good, hard evidence to back up such emotional outbursts.

To add context and facts to the claims that Gill is an incredible goal scorer and will provide the difference against our group opponents USA, Sweden and Nigeria, it is interesting to note that 45% of all Gill’s goals have come in seven matches against the hapless pair of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In fact, Gill has only ever played one game in her entire career where she scored against European opposition when Australia defeated lowly Russia 5-0 in 2005.

Against super powers Germany, USA, France, Japan, Sweden, England, Brazil and Canada – the top eight nations in the world – she has only scored a total of three goals.

With our potential opposition at the World Cup coming almost exclusively from the aforementioned top eight nations, these are the teams we will have to beat to progress in the World Cup and it is these teams that Gill is not suited to play against.

Versatile and mobile goal scorers such as Kyah Simon, Leena Khamis, Lisa De Vanna, Michelle Heyman, Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord are all in the squad and offer more of a goal threat against all standards of opposition than Gill.

Even the veteran forward’s main asset, her heading ability, is offset by the selection of Khamis who provides the greatest aerial threat in Australian women’s football.

The World Cup is neither the time nor place for niceties when it comes to selection and even if all the above facts and figures did not reflect so poorly on Gill, the simple truth is that she wasn’t selected because of the calibre of competition ahead of her.

THINK GILL’S OMISSION IS UNFAIR? READ THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY HERE.

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Christian Layland
The Media Manager at Western Sydney Wanderers for four seasons and the Melbourne Victory W-League team for two, Christian is co-founder and Chief of Staff of The Football Sack and currently coaches at Wanderers Academy.