Wonderkid Mary Fowler joins Australia's Tournament of Nations squad
The Matildas have added one more player to their Tournament of Nations squad -- a 15-year-old wildcard who coach Alen Stajcic rates as the most talented prospect he's seen in women's football.
Fresh from scoring 10 goals in six games for the Young Matildas at the AFF Women's Championship, striker Mary Fowler will join the Australian set-up in America ahead of their friendly clashes with Brazil, the United States and Japan.
The Cairns product has emerged from almost total obscurity to thrust herself into potential Women's World Cup calculations with a year to go until the showpiece tournament in France.
All other nations at the AFF Women's Championship fielded their full senior teams -- except for Australia, who sent their under-20s.
Fowler, the youngest of them all, looked right at home at that level, netting both goals as the Young Matildas fell 3-2 in the final to Thailand and finishing as the tournament's top scorer.
She is not attached to any W-League club and currently plays for Bankstown City in the NSW Women's NPL.
Stajcic, who says he has been tracking Fowler for 12 months, believes she is bound for huge things.
"She's probably got the most amount of weapons I've seen from a young player her age in women's football," Stajcic told AAP.
"Even just listening to the lament of the Socceroos about our lack of a striker and finishing ability in Australian football, Mary is one of those people who we can hopefully hang our hat on down the track as she develops as a player.
"She's certainly got that instinct for goal, it's really profound.
"Certainly she's got the foundations to be a good and effective striker for us down the track."
Born to an Irish father and a Papua New Guinean mother, Fowler is part of a prodigiously-talented football family which could provide Australia's national teams with even more stars of the future.
Sister Ciara is also on the Young Matildas radar while her elder brother, Caoimhin Fowler, is expected to make his senior debut this coming season.
Better known as "Quivi," the 19-year-old attacking midfielder recently signed for second-tier Dutch outfit FC Dordrecht after spending time with Wollongong in the NSW NPL.
An Irish under-17 international, Quivi is being tracked by some of the world's biggest clubs and has trialled at several A-League clubs but was not offered a senior contract.
Mary, too, is eligible for Ireland and would not be tied to the Matildas even if she features in the Tournament of Nations as it is only a friendly tournament.
Australia squad for the Tournament of Nations:
Goalkeepers: Lydia Williams, Mackenzie Arnold
Defenders: Ellie Carpenter, Steph Catley, Alanna Kennedy, Clare Polkinghorne
Midfielders: Amy Sayer, Tameka Butt, Alex Chidiac, Katrina Gorry, Elise Kellond-Knight, Chloe Logarzo, Emily van Egmond
Forwards: Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna, Caitlin Foord, Emily Gielnik, Samantha Kerr, Hayley Raso, Kyah Simon, Mary Fowler