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Golden generation Matildas crave elusive silverware

Australia defender Alanna Kennedy has had enough with fourth-place finishes as the torchbearers of the Matildas' golden generation gear up for one final crack at silverware together.

Kennedy was one of eight players named in Tony Gustavsson's 18-player squad on Tuesday who will be going to a third Olympics when the Matildas open their campaign against Germany on July 25.

Alanna
The Matildas are desperate to win a medal at the Paris Olympics. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Of those eight, only 24-year-old rightback Ellie Carpenter is a certainty to be lining up in 2028, with the likes of Steph Catley, Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne and Caitlin Foord approaching the twilight of their careers come the Los Angeles Games.

The absence of captain Sam Kerr through injury, and the international retirement of trailblazing goalkeeper Lydia Williams, has brought into focus an urgency to ensure this talent-laden era of the Matildas is marked by a major trophy.

Carpenter said silverware was the "only thing missing" from the Matildas' nation-inspiring exploits, while Kennedy described fourth-placed finishes at the 2021 Tokyo Games and last year's Women's World Cup as "heartbreaking".

"I think it's heartbreaking to be in those medal games twice and come away with nothing," Kennedy said.

"To be a part of the Matildas for so long … we've won small tournaments here and there but I think for us, those major tournaments and coming out of those with something, I think this team deserves it.

"There is a core group of us who have been together for a long time and not really won anything or don't have anything to show for it.

"That's definitely a huge motivation behind it, and I think we have the team to do it."

Foord claimed the bronze-medal loss to the US, who Australia will meet in the group stages in Paris, had been a source of hurt that lingered with her long after she left Tokyo.

"It almost feels like this is our last opportunity with this group," Foord said.

"It's definitely going to be a driver, but the last Olympics stuck pretty firmly in my head, being so close and falling short."

The sense of frustration is even felt among the younger players within Gustavsson's set-up with Real Madrid winger Hayley Raso declaring she has had a gutful of going so close.

"Now it's kind of getting on our nerves a little bit, (we) really want to achieve something and bring something back," Raso said.

"The majority of the girls have been together for a long time and we all know what we want to achieve."