Matildas coach Ante Milicic left some players broken-hearted and others ecstatic when he named his World Cup squad on Tuesday.
One of the former was teenager Mary Fowler, who could become the youngest ever Matilda to play at the World Cup if she gets game time in France.
But Milicic says that while focusing on Fowler's youth – she only turned 16 in February this year – might be understandable, it would be wrong.
She is, he insists, far more than a curio and has been chosen first and foremost because of her ability.
Any appearance at the World Cup would officially tie Fowler to Australia – not something that FFA officials and coaches could always count upon happening.
Her previous appearances came in friendly matches, which, under FIFA rules, had left open the door for her to play for another country.
Just six months ago the younster was blocked from being called up for the Matildas squad for the games against Chile by her father, Kevin, sparking fears that she would play for Ireland, the land of his birth, rather than Australia.
Her brother Quivi and sister Ciara had opted to play for Ireland earlier and the soccer community feared Cairns-born Mary might also be lost to this country, given that earlier in 2018 she had said she wanted to play for the same team as her brother and sister.
She had been pencilled in for those matches against the South Americans by former Matildas boss Alen Stajcic, whose frustration at the time was evident.
"Her father has made her unavailable for this game which is a little bit disappointing, I have to say," he had said.
"They've lived an alternative lifestyle, if you would like to call it that, over the past few years.
"The father has a whole family he's trying to look after and protect, and really trying to foster their growth on and off the field.
"She's certainly come a long way on and off the field as a person and we have to give them that space to do whatever they're going to do."
''She's under her father's wing at the moment and I wish her and her family all the best."
The family has been peripatetic, having moved to the Netherlands for a period to foster the children's footballing careers, while Mary herself was reportedly training in England last year with a specialist sprint coach.
With Stajcic's departure, new coach Milicic wasted little time in calling the teenage striker into the squad for the game against the USA in Denver in April, where she came on as a substitute, and he clearly liked what he saw – enough to include her in the party for France.
''Mary is one that I brought into the camp in America [for the recent friendly against the USA] and I really liked what I saw in her from training,'' he explained at the squad announcement in Sydney.
''I understand that the age gets mentioned a lot, but at the same time I will always revert back to the footballing quality and that's something that she does have.''
Whether Fowler plays much of a role this time around remains to be seen. But Milicic is confident that she will learn a massive amount from the experience and be a key player for the Matildas in the future.
''She's a young player with a lot of potential and we have to have one eye on the future.
''I think the players we have in the group, particularly in the attacking third, she's going to learn so much and it's all about educating the young ones, having one eye on the future.
''She also had a good tournament most recently with Gary [van Egmond] in Myanmar with the Young Matildas.
''She understands that she has still got a lot to learn but what better place than going to a World Cup with this squad?''
Current form and fitness were the main criteria for selection, Milicic said, which was why experienced striker Kyah Simon and Spain-based midfielder Alex Chidiac, whom many pundits thought were both chances to be in the party, missed out.
''When I look back at all her match minutes for club and country from January 2018 she's fallen well short, there's been a steep decline there. Her last full game was in May last year,'' Milicic said of Simon.
''At the same time she had surgery this year in January … I understand the quality that she can bring, but it was my call that it was too much of a risk at this stage.
''I have decided to bring her in [as a standby player] because I think she deserves to be brought in and if anything have one eye on the Olympics and try to assist her in getting back to some kind of form and fitness.
''It's never an easy decision, but it's one where the evidence tells me it's the right one.''
Lack of game time also counted against Chidiac.
''Again, there is strong competition in the midfield. In the last couple of weeks she hasn't even been in the match-day squad, there's just not enough kilometres in the legs for me. It's one that I couldn't go with at this stage.''