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Junior & Young Ferns learn path to finals

The Young Football Ferns and Junior Football Ferns learned their pathway to the respective FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups after the official draws for the upcoming OFC U-17 and U-20 Women’s Championships were held in Taupo on Saturday.

OFC U-17 / U-20 Women's Championships

The Young Football Ferns and Junior Football Ferns learned their pathway to the respective FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups after the official draws for the upcoming OFC U-17 and U-20 Women’s Championships were held in Taupo on Saturday.

New Zealand will host the two tournaments in conjunction with each other from 9-14 April at Centre Park in Mangere, Auckland.

In the U-17 event, New Zealand will be joined by Cook Islands, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea to play-off for a spot at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup set to take place in Azerbaijan from 22 September to 13 October.

Three of those teams – New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – will also compete in the U-20 qualifier along with Samoa for a place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan from 18 August to 8 September.

OFC Head of Competitions David Firisua was on hand to conduct the draw during the rest day of the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier which concludes in Taupo today.

Executive members overseeing the draw included OFC Vice President and Cook Islands Football Association President Lee Harmon as well as Thierry Ariiotima, President of the Fédération Tahitienne de Football.

Both tournaments will be played in a round-robin format on alternate days starting with the OFC U-17 Women’s Championship. The opening match on Monday 9 April will feature New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea before New Zealand face Cook Islands. Meanwhile day one of the U-20 event will pit New Caledonia against Samoa before the hosts take on Papua New Guinea. All matches will be played at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

The Young Football Ferns are defending champions at U-17 level, winning the inaugural OFC event in 2010, while the Junior Football Ferns also won the U-20 equivalent the same year.

The OFC U-20 Women's Championship 2012 was originally scheduled to take place from 16-20 January in Auckland but had to be postponed due to the uncertainty around the confirmation of participating teams and entry of new teams.

OFC U-17 Women's Championship – New Zealand draw
All Games at Centre Park, Mangere, Auckland

April 9, 3pm
New Zealand v Cook Islands

April 11, 1pm
New Zealand v New Caledonia

April 13, 3pm
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea

OFC U-20 Women's Championship – New Zealand draw
All Games at Centre Park, Mangere, Auckland

April 10, 3pm
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea

April 12, 1pm
New Zealand v New Caledonia

April 14, 3pm
New Zealand v Samoa 

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