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Canada a step up to Olympic quality for Football Ferns

An Olympic Games warm up against World number seven Canada in Switzerland on Saturday night is set to provide the Football Ferns with the best simulation yet of the quality they’ll face in their London 2012 opener against Great Britain.

Sarah Gregorius. www.photosport.co.nz

July 13, 2012

AUCKLAND – An Olympic Games warm up against World number seven Canada in Switzerland in the early hours of Sunday morning is set to provide the Football Ferns with the best simulation yet of the quality they’ll face in their London 2012 opener against Great Britain.

New Zealand take on the fellow Olympic qualifiers in Châtel-St-Denis in the opening game of the Matchworld Women’s Cup tournament and coach Tony Readings said it marks a step up from both the series win against China and a draw and narrow loss to Australia.

“The performances against those countries were an important marker for us but Canada are a step above,” Readings said.

“They are peaking for the Olympics and exactly the sort of test we need this close to London.

“The will also be similar to Great Britain in many respects so they will be a good dress rehearsal for our opening game in Cardiff. There’s also a chance we could meet again in the knockout stages so it’ll be a useful sighter for us.”

Football Ferns staff will also get a valuable look at Brazil who take on Colombia in the day’s later kickoff. New Zealand play Colombia in the Matchworld Cup next week but will not meet Brazil until their second Olympic group match in Cardiff on July 28.

The team set up camp in Switzerland this week and shook off the jetlag on Wednesday with a 10-0 win over the women’s team of Swiss club Young Boys FC, a side that reached the last 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League last season.

Readings has a fully fit squad to choose from for the Canada match, including Ali Riley and Kirsty Yallop who missed the games against Australia due to club commitments.

“Our plans are taking shape and these final two games in Switzerland will help make those final decisions we need to make before we meet Great Britain.”

The match kicks off at 2am on Sunday morning New Zealand time with the Oly Whites playing their second warm up game against Korea Republic in Seoul at 9pm Saturday night (NZT).

Canada are coached by former Football Ferns coach John Herdman.

Matchworld Women’s Cup 2012
New Zealand v Canada
Châtel-St-Denis, Switzerland
July 14, 4pm (2am July 15 NZT)

New Zealand: (from) 1-Jenny BINDON (GK), 2-Ria PERCIVAL, 3-Anna GREEN, 4-Katie HOYLE, 5-Abby ERCEG, 6-Rebecca SMITH (captain), 7-Ali RILEY, 8-Hayley MOORWOOD, 9-Amber HEARN, 10-Sarah GREGORIUS, 11-Kirsty YALLOP, 12-Betsy HASSETT, 13-Rosie WHITE, 14-Kristy HILL, 15-Rebekah STOTT, 16-Annalie LONGO, 17-Hannah WILKINSON, 18-Rebecca ROLLS (GK) .
Coach: Tony READINGS

Canada: (from) Karina LEBLANC (GK), Erin MCLEOD (GK), Emily ZURRER, Carmelina MOSCATO, Robyn GAYLE, Lauren SESSELMANN, Rhian WILKINSON, Candace CHAPMAN, Chelsea STEWART, Kaylyn KYLE, Diana MATHESON, Desiree SCOTT, Sophie SCHMIDT, Kelly PARKER, Jonelle FILIGNO, Christine SINCLAIR (captain), Melissa TANCREDI, Brittany TIMKO.
Coach: John HERDMAN 

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