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Alex Chidiac replaces Kyra Cooney-Cross in Matildas squad

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The Far Post podcast discuss what Ally Green's shifting allegiance to New Zealand says about breakthrough chances being award to players in their early and mid-20s. (2:33)

Melbourne Victory star Alex Chidiac has been called into the Matildas squad, replacing teammate Kyra Cooney-Cross for matches against New Zealand.

Chidiac's absence from the original squad, after a standout A-League Women season, had been contentious.

The midfielder was in a national team camp in June 2021 without getting any game time while she had knocked back more recent call-ups to focus on her club football.

She was only named in an extended squad list for the upcoming trans-Tasman series but Cooney-Cross' withdrawal for medical reasons has opened the door for Chidiac to push for her first Matildas appearance since 2019.

Former Atletico Madrid midfielder Chidiac had multiple seasons ruined by a serious ankle injury, plus limited game time at her overseas clubs.

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But returning to the ALW proved a masterstroke as the 23-year-old played a crucial role in helping Victory go back-to-back, was in the PFA team of the season and won the Victory Medal as the champions' player of the season.

"First of all, I'm really happy for Chids that she's found the love of the game again as she's had a couple of tough years," Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said on Tuesday.

"We've always known that she has a magical left foot; her visionary attack is unique but she needed to find her love for the game again and find her form and have confidence.

"We supported her in that journey that she wanted to focus on playing games consistently finding her confidence in her form.

"We had a long conversation back in Sweden before the Olympics when she wasn't selected to the roster, in terms of her focus points and playing with more intensity.

"Her next step now is to keep this form and play consistently at as high a level as possible."

Australia play New Zealand in Townsville on April 8 and then in Canberra on April 12.