Photo exposes glaring reality for Matildas amid calls to strip Sam Kerr of captaincy

The superstar striker may have captained the Matildas for the last time.

Regardless of what goes down with Sam Kerr's court case and her role as captain of the Matildas, the team is facing a massive changing of the guard that would have resulted in leadership change anyway. There are calls for Kerr to be stripped of the Matildas captaincy after she failed to inform Football Australia of her harassment charge and court appearance in London this week.

The 30-year-old is charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress, during an incident in January of 2023 revolving around a dispute over a taxi fare. Kerr's lawyers will reportedly seek to have the charge downgraded or dropped altogether due to the time it took police to lay the charges (nearly 12 months), arguing 'abuse of process'.

The outcome of the case will be decided in time (perhaps not until February next year), but the fact Kerr kept the charge a secret from Football Australia for six weeks spells bad news for her future as Matildas captain. Her failure to inform the governing body will likely be a breach of the code of conduct, and her position as skipper appears untenable.

Sam Kerr, pictured here alongside a number of Matildas teammates.
Sam Kerr could be stripped of the Matildas captaincy as the Matildas face the reality of losing a number of players in the next few years. Image: Getty/Instagram

Matildas were facing a changing of the guard anyway

But with the superstar striker turning 31 later this year, her days as a Matilda are likely coming to an end. Vice-captain Steph Catley will lead the team at the Paris Olympics in July and August, with Kerr unlikely to feature at the Games after rupturing her ACL in January.

But with Catley also on the wrong side of 30, the Matildas are looking for some new blood to take over in leadership roles anyway. As veteran midfielder Katrina Gorry pointed out after the Matildas beat Uzbekistan to qualify for the Olympics, the Paris Games will act as the last major tournament for a number of players.

"It’s sad, obviously being the last major tournament for some of us, but I think it could be a pretty special one," she said. "To go out with a bang would be pretty amazing for all of us."

The 31-year-old expressed similar sentiments after the Matildas lost in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup last year. "Everyone's gonna be hurting," she said. "I think the veterans probably more - we don't really have another World Cup in us."

The Matildas squad, pictured here at the Women's World Cup in 2023.
The Matildas have an ageing squad that will undergo some major changes in the next few years.

Matildas players at birthday bash after Sam Kerr court appearance

The reality for the Matildas is they have an ageing squad that will undergo a lot of changes in the next few years. Lydia Williams, Michelle Hayman and Clare Polkinghorne are all 35, while Aivi Luik is 38 and Kyah Simon and Tameka Yallop are both 32.

Kerr, Katley and Emily van Egmond are all 30, while Gorry is 31 and Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy and Hayley Raso are 29. Clare Hunt (24) is being touted as the captain in waiting, and with Kerr's future in extreme doubt, we could see a change sooner rather than later.


Just hours after she appeared in court to enter a plea of not guilty on Monday, Kerr was snapped out on the town celebrating Arnold's birthday. Catley, Foord, Kennedy and Gorry were also in attendance at the birthday bash, in what could be one of the last times the Matildas veterans are all together while still playing.

Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord, Alanna Kennedy, Steph Catley, Katrina Gorry and Mackenzie Arnold.

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