Star striker Sam Kerr will lead the Matildas to the World Cup (Photo Credit: Ann Odong / Creative Commons)

New Matildas’ Head Coach Ante Milicic has named star striker Sam Kerr and experienced defender Steph Catley as the new captain and vice captain.

Making her national team debut as a 15 year old, Kerr will become the Matildas’ sixth World Cup captain in France this year.

Widely considered one of the best players in the world, 25 year old Kerr was humbled by the appointment.

“It is a tremendous honour to have been recognised by Ante [Milicic] and the staff as captain of the Matildas,” Kerr said.

“Ante gave a great speech about what it means to play for Australia to the team yesterday and at the end of it surprised us with the announcement.”

Deputising Kerr is Melbourne City captain Steph Catley.  Capped 69 times for Australia, the defender is one of the most decorated players in the game with four W-League championships to her name.

On the international stage, Catley is one of the best defenders in the women’s game and has been a part of the Matildas’ leadership group for the past two years.

“To be recognised as a leader within the Matildas is a fantastic honour,” Catley said.

“Together we can make France 2019 a special World Cup for Australian football.”

For Milicic the decision to name Kerr and Catley as captains came after witnessing their interactions in a four day Brisbane pre-camp.

“Sam [Kerr] and Steph [Catley] have impressed me greatly,” Milicic said.

“We had four great training sessions and several team and individual meetings while we were in Brisbane, and to me their qualities as leaders of this group stood out.

“With any honour comes responsibility, however I trust that Sam and Steph as well as the other leaders in our squad are ready to grasp the opportunity to push this team to a new level,” he said.

Kerr and Catley will lead the Matildas in their next match against New Zealand this Thursday at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney.