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Young Ferns head to USA

Playing at the United States National Training Centre in Carson, California; the New Zealand U-17 side – led by coach Jitka Klimkova – will play three matches in the NTC Invitational Tournament against Japan, the USA and China.
Klimkova says the tournament will be excellent for the next step in the development of her side, facing off against three top international nations; including – in Japan and the USA – previous FIFA U-17 World Cup runners-up.
“Our key focus for this event is to continue to develop the player and develop the Young Football Ferns team and make positive progress in our level of performance,” Klimkova said.
“The top level of international football is the best teacher. At this tournament the girls will be able to compare their individual performance with the best players in the world at this age.
“They can set their individual goals for the future and be more prepared for the next football steps towards our U-20 and Football Ferns sides.”
As the team sets about those individual and team development tasks, Klimkova says the side is intent on developing a possession-focussed philosophy of play.
“We are going to play a positive and attacking style of football. We want to play quickly and effectively in possession. This is the modern style of football and we want to develop our strength in these areas.”
The side is made up of players who have graduated from the National Talent Centre development programme which focuses on developing the individual playing habits of top level international footballers.
Four players in the squad; Daisy Cleverley, Tayla Christensen, Martine Puketapu and Emily Oosterhof, are aiming to take part in their second FIFA U-17 Women’s Cup after featuring for the Young Football Ferns in Azerbaijan in 2012.
The tournament is the first international competition for the team since last year’s tour of Australia in August with the majority of the squad involved in the ASB Women’s League in 2013 as members of the New Zealand U-17 side (which competed in the competition) or with their respective federation teams.
The first game of the tournament for the Young Football Ferns is against Japan on Thursday 6 February (NZ time).
New Zealand U-17 Women’s squad – NTC Invitational Tournament, USA
February 5-9, 2014

Goalkeepers
Emily Hanrahan (Claudelands Rovers)
Emma Fulbrook (Waterside Karori AFC)
Defenders
Elizabeth Anton (Auckland Football/Lynn-Avon Utd AFC)
Hope Gilchrist (Capital Football/Waterside Karori AFC)
Geneva Gross (Mainland Football/Nelson Suburbs AFC)
Sophie Stewart-Hobbs (Waikato Bay of Plenty Football/Papamoa FC)
Karin Ingram (Central Football/Massey University)
Hanna English (Football South/Dunedin Technical AFC)
Midfielders
Isabella Coombes (Waikato Bay of Plenty Football/Claudelands Rovers)
Whitney Hepburn (Mainland Football/Coastal Spirit FC)
Deven Jackson (Auckland Football/Lynn-Avon Utd AFC)
Isabella Richards (Auckland Football/Three Kings Utd)
Lucy Stotter (Capital Football/Lower Hutt City AFC)
Daisy Cleverley (Auckland Football/Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC)
Forwards
Tayla Christensen (Waikato Bay of Plenty Football/Claudelands Rovers)
Emily Oosterhof (Northern Football/Glenfield Rovers)
Jade Parris (Auckland Football/Metro FC)
Martine Puketapu (Auckland Football/Three Kings Utd)
Paige Satchell (Waikato Bay of Plenty Football/Rotorua Utd AFC)
Sarah Morton (Central Football/Maycenvale Utd AFC)
Schedule
NZ v Japan
Wednesday 5 February, 3pm (NZ time Thurs 6 Feb, midday)
NZ v USA
Friday 7 February, 6pm (NZ time Sat 8 Feb, 2pm)
NZ v China
Sunday 9 February, 1pm (NZ time Mon 10 Feb, 10am)
All matches at US Soccer National Training Centre
Glenn Myernick Field, Carson, California
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz


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