Mary Fowler to use Young Matildas qualifiers to push World Cup claim
Wonder teen Mary Fowler's path to the World Cup will take her to Myanmar this month as she hunts goals to press her claims for France.
As other Australians show their wares in the U.S.-based National Women's Soccer League, Spain's La Liga, or at home, Fowler's youth gives her a different opportunity.
The 16-year-old will head to Southeast Asia under assistant coach Gary van Egmond for the Young Matildas for an Asian qualifying campaign.
Fowler will lead the line for Australia, knowing a bag of goals will do her case for inclusion the world of good.
"It's an important tournament for me to show that I am a goalscorer," she said.
"Last time I went into a Young Matildas camp I came out golden boot and that's exactly what I plan on doing this time."
Playing against lowly-ranked youth sides from Uzbekistan, Nepal and the hosts will certainly be a step down from playing world No.1 United States, as Fowler did last week for her country.
Fowler said it wouldn't change her mentality one iota.
"I'm going to be putting my all in because I want to get to the World Cup," she said.
"I want to be the best in the world so getting to the World Cup is going to be a big stepping stone for me.
"Somewhere I can test myself against the best teams and the best players, I'm going to do all I can to make sure I get into that squad."
If selected for France, Fowler will become the second-youngest Australian to travel to a World Cup after Caitlin Foord.
Foord, who scored a wonder goal against the USWNT in the 5-3 loss, was also 16 when she represented the Matildas at the 2011 tournament.
She was named the World Cup's best young player and has since moved from a full-back role to become one of the world's best forwards.
Sam Kerr is an obvious mentor for the ambitious Fowler, but there's something to learn from the entire Matildas camp if she's to accomplish her goals.
"You work with everyone and try to learn something from everyone," she said. "Sure I can say I'm looking up to Sam, which I am, learning stuff from her, but I'm also learning stuff from the defence.
"I'm also a defender as well as an attacker because I defend from the front."