February 17, 2012
AUCKLAND – The Young Football Ferns (U-17 women) will undertake a two match tour of Argentina next week, as head coach Paul Temple seeks more international exposure for his young charges on the Road to Azerbaijan.
The side will square off with Argentina in two U-17 internationals on the 24 and 27 February with both matches to be played at the Argentina Football Association’s national team’s headquarters in Buenos Aires.
It will be the first activity since the historic series win over Australia in October last year, and like that series the Young Football Ferns are providing opposition immediately prior to their opponents FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
“The timing is fantastic for us and it keeps the momentum going from the trans-Tasman games last year. This will be a very different test as Argentina will be primed and match ready as they have their qualifiers due to start in early March in Bolivia,” said Temple.
With the Young Football Ferns own qualifiers recently confirmed by OFC the scheduling also works well for the Kiwis. The OFC U-17 Women’s Championship will be held in Auckland from 9 to 14 April with the Cook Islands, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea hoping to halt New Zealand’s monopoly on women’s world cup spots.
New Zealand has an impressive recent history in women’s football having represented Oceania in all women’s categories at all world cups since 2006.
“We understand that we start as favourites at most OFC events, so with our preparation we need to have one eye on the qualification tournament and the other beyond that,” said Temple “we are aware that the other OFC nations can only improve by playing teams better than them, which is exactly the situation we are in and why we are chasing matches overseas,” he continued.
All players bar Canada-based Emma Fletcher were active in the recent ASB Women’s Youth League with five of New Zealand’s seven federations represented in the squad.
Elsewhere, in a unique move OFC will also run the U-20 Women’s Championship conjointly with the U-17 Championship with the Junior Football Ferns (U-20) in action against New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Young Football Ferns squad for tour to Argentina
1-Lily ALFELD (Coastal Spirit)
16-Ronisa LIPI (Waterside Karori)
2-Meikayla MOORE (Canterbury School of Football)
3-Laura MERRIN (Coastal Spirit)
4-CJ BOTT (Waterside Karori)
5-Emily JENSEN (Richmond)
13-Chloe WILSON (Lynn-Avon United)
17-Chloe KNOTT (Canterbury School of Football)
6-Hannah CARLSEN (Lynn-Avon United)
8-Tessa LEONG (Claudelands Rovers)
10-Emma FLETCHER (Vancouver Whitecaps)
12-Daisy CLEVERLEY (Western Springs)
14-Lauren DABNER (Canterbury School of Football)
7-Jasmine PEREIRA (Three Kings United)
9-Martine PUKETAPU (Three Kings United)
11-Briar PALMER (Waterside Karori)
15-Briar MCNAMARA (Glenfield Rovers)
18-Emma ROLSTON (Waterside Karori)
Paul TEMPLE (Head Coach)
Brett ANGELL (Assistant Coach)
Nigel PIPER (GK Coach)
Claire HAMILTON (Manager)
Claudia CRASBORN (Assistant Manager)
Craig HARRISON (Sports Scientist)
Anna BARLOW (Physio)
U-17 Women's Internationals
New Zealand v Argentina
AFA National Team Headquarters, Buenos Aires
February 24, 5pm (Feb 25 9am NZT)
February 27, 5pm (Feb 28 9am NZT)