High Asian Cup hopes for Matildas' Raso

Ed JacksonAAP
Hayley Raso is set to embark on her third Asian Cup finals campaign with the Matildas.
Camera IconHayley Raso is set to embark on her third Asian Cup finals campaign with the Matildas. Credit: AAP

Flying high on the back of recent displays in club football, in-form Matildas winger Hayley Raso is eager to take on a senior role in Australia's quest for a second Asian Women's Cup title.

Raso has been one of the form players in the FA Women's Super League for Manchester City in recent weeks.

The 27-year-old came off the bench to score two goals and set up another in a thumping win over Aston Villa before further assists and goals in the corresponding wins over Birmingham and Brighton helped City revive their flagging campaign.

Raso is now focusing on using that form to help her play an influential role in her third Asian Cup, having been part of the Matildas' squads that finished runners-up to Japan in the past two tournaments.

"It's been a long time since the Matildas have won the Asian Cup, so it is our goal as a team to make sure we bring the trophy home again," Raso told AAP.

"Being my third Asian Cup, I definitely feel more like a senior player now.

"I am always aiming to help the young and upcoming talents as much as I can and I hope my experiences at tournaments like these can help guide them to continue growing in this team."

Raso's own form at City has her excited about what she can achieve personally in India, with Australia starting their campaign against Indonesia in Mumbai on Friday.

"I feel like I've found my feet and am playing with a lot of confidence for my club at the moment, so I'm looking to continue working and developing on that form and to make sure I'm doing whatever I can to help the team win," the Brisbane-born attacker said.

Coach Tony Gustavsson finalised his 23-player squad for the tournament on Monday with forwards Cortnee Vine and Holly McNamara selected in favour of Karly Roestbakken and Winonah Heatley.

The addition of the uncapped duo adds to a squad already boasting the attacking talents of Raso, Caitlin Foord, Emily Gielnik, Remy Siemsen, Mary Fowler and, of course, captain Sam Kerr.

It's a potent array of talent that Raso is tipping to fire Australia to continental glory after narrowly missing out on a medal at last year's Olympics.

"We have so much potential and are such a tight group. That combined with our winning mentality, I think will help us click this tournament," she said.

"We had so much belief in ourselves at the Olympics, and that really showed in the way we played.

"It's always disappointing to lose, especially in a bronze medal match, but it has only made us more hungry to succeed."

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