Sam Kerr named Australia captain by new Matildas boss Ante Milicic

Ante Milicic has made the biggest shake-up of his young Matildas reign, installing superstar forward Sam Kerr as captain and Steph Catley as her deputy.

Kerr, the Perth Glory captain, said she didn't see the offer coming but was delighted to take on the role from former co-captains Clare Polkinghorne and Lisa De Vanna.

"It's pretty amazing isn't it? It's a massive honour," she said.

The 25-year-old said Milicic called her aside during a training run in Brisbane to ask her to take the country's top job.

"He speaks in such a passionate way, it's quite uplifting. It had me quite emotional when he asked me," she said.

"He said, 'If you need to think about it,' but I was like 'I don't need to think about it!'"

Milicic then addressed the team on Tuesday, unveiling the side's next-gen leadership team.

"Seeing her the last three or four days in camp it really confirmed my thoughts," he said.

"She's a leader, she's fearless and she's very important to the team.

"She's ready at this moment to take this opportunity."

Kerr will have a first opportunity to wear the armband on Thursday night when Australia plays New Zealand in their Cup of Nations opener.

The Cup of Nations, which also includes Argentina and South Korea, will afford the Matildas crucial match practice on the road to the World Cup in June.

Catley, also 25, who captains Melbourne City in the W-League, said she was proud to be recognised and looked forward to working closely with her great friend Kerr.

"Together we can make France 2019 a special World Cup for Australian football," she said.