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Four changes for Ferns squad

After missing the internationals against France and Norway last month; Rosie White, Katie Bowen, and Daisy Cleverley return to the side while goalkeeper Cushla Lichtwark – formerly a netballer with the Central Pulse – earns her first senior international call-up.

With the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in June rapidly approaching, coach Tony Readings says meeting Denmark, who missed qualification for the showcase tournament in Canada in the tough European confederation, is ideal preparation for the 19th-ranked New Zealand side.

“They are not going to the World Cup but they’ve still got hopes of qualifying for the Olympics,” Readings said.
“I know they will be important games because they’ll be disappointed not to qualify for the World Cup because there are some lower-ranked European teams that made it ahead of them, but yet they are still ranked 12th in the world, so that shows what a powerhouse they are.
“For us, it’s another series against a team that is ranked higher than us, another series against a team ranked in and around the top 10.
“We keep getting closer and out-performing these teams a lot of the time and that’s what we’re aiming to do on these occasions is to keep taking those steps forward because there are a lot less steps to take now, so we’ve got to take bigger ones every time we play.”
Ahead of their World Cup Group A matches against Holland, Canada and China, Readings says Denmark will provide a test in several ways which mirrors some of what their opponents will bring in June while the January internationals continue to provide players with a chance to book their tickets to Canada.
“Part of it will be to practise the way we play against those styles and the bits that do match,” Readings said.
“And then part of our focus will be on developing our style and the way we play so we’ve got a lot more variety to our game as well.

“It’s a big opportunity between now and the World Cup for all players. There are quite a few spots up for grabs in the squad and also the starting 11.
“What we’ve been able to do this time is to call in players who were unavailable for the last tour so it adds a little bit more experience for us.
“It’s a really strong squad, we’re happy with it and we’re looking to increase that competition for places and that will start against Denmark.”
The two internationals against Denmark take place in Belek, Turkey on January 12 and 15 (NZ time).

Football Ferns v Denmark
January, 2015

Cushla Lichtwark – 0/0 – Upper Hutt City, NZ
Erin Nayler – 20/0 – Glenfield Rovers, NZ

Katie Bowen – 18/0 – University of North Carolina, USA
Abby Erceg – 105/5 – USV Jena, GER
Meikayla Moore – 9/0 – Coastal Spirit, NZL
Ria Percival – 97/10 – USV Jena, GER
Ali Riley – 85/1 – FC Rosengard, SWE
Rebekah Stott – 31/2 – SC Sand, GER

Hayley Bowden – 90/10 – Shizuoka Sangyo University, JPN
Daisy Cleverley – 3/2 – Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC, NZL
Betsy Hassett – 71/8 – Manchester City FC, ENG
Katie Hoyle – 94/1 – Notts County FC, ENG
Annalie Longo – 70/4 – Coastal Spirit, NZL
Kirsty Yallop – 82/12 – Vittsjo GIK, SWE
Helen Collins -25/6 – Claudelands Rovers, NZL
Sarah Gregorius – 58/21 – AS Elfen Saitama, JPN
Amber Hearn – 91/44 – USV Jena, GER
Jasmine Pereira – 3/0 – Three Kings Utd, NZL
Rosie White – 61/14 – UCLA, USA
Hannah Wilkinson – 61/19 – University of Tennessee, USA
Management staff
Tony Readings – Head Coach
Aaron McFarland – Assistant Coach
Danny Robinson – Assistant Coach

Match Schedule

Football Ferns v Denmark
Spice Hotel Football Grounds, Belek, Turkey
Monday 13 January, 1am (NZ time)
Football Ferns v Denmark
Spice Hotel Football Grounds, Belek, Turkey
Wednesday 15 January, 9pm (NZ time)
For more on New Zealand football visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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