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Young Ferns squad named for Costa Rica

Martine Puketapu, Daisy Cleverley, Isabella Coombes, Elizabeth Anton and Geena Gross were all involved in the Junior Football Ferns side which secured a berth at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 courtesy of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Papua New Guinea in Mangere.
The New Zealand U-17 side, made up from graduates for the New Zealand Football National and Federation Talent Centre programmes, head to their showcase event in March after the trip to the United States for a four-team tournament in Los Angeles earlier in February.
Young Football Ferns coach Jitka Klimkova said the trip to the USA – which saw the side meet the host nation, China and World Cup opponent Japan – was great preparation for the World Cup in Costa Rica.
“We learned a lot during the USA tournament,” Klimkova said, “playing against the best teams in the world at U-17 level was such a great experience.”
Klimkova says the trip to the United States showed up several areas which will serve as key focus points for the side in the lead up to their departure for the tournament.
“Defensively we want to be more compact and our individual defending should be much more aggressive. Offensively, we have to play quicker with the ball and our movement off the ball should be more proactive.”
The Young Football Ferns will be working on those areas against historically strong opponents which Klimkova has studied well; Paraguay, Spain and Japan.
“Our first game against Paraguay will be a similar game to the United States. They are very physical and play a direct style of football.
“Spain is the best team in Europe and it will be really different football compared to our first game; they are more technical, possession-oriented and unpredictable. Japan are similar to Spain, and playing against them in the USA tournament should be an advantage for us.”
The first match of the tournament for the Young Football Ferns is against Paraguay on Monday, 17 March (NZ time).
New Zealand U-17 women’s squad – FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Costa Rica
March 15-April 4
Goalkeepers
1. Emma Fulbrook (Waterside Karori AFC/Capital Football)
20. Emily Hanrahan (Claudelands Rovers/Waikato Bay of Plenty)
21. Abigail Roper (Fencibles Utd AFC/Auckland Football)
Defenders
2. Geena Gross (Suburbs FC/Mainland Football)
3. Hope Gilchrist (Waterside Karori AFC/Capital Football)
4. Elizabeth Anton (Lynn-Avon United AFC/Auckland Football)
5. Hanna English (Dunedin Technical/Football South)
12. Sophie Stewart-Hobbs (Papamoa FC/Waikato Bay of Plenty Football)
14. Karin Ingram (Massey University/Central Football)
Midfielders
6. Isabella Coombes (Claudelands Rovers/Waikato Bay of Plenty Football)
7. Bella Kingi (Lynn-Avon United AFC/Auckland Football)
8. Daisy Cleverley (Forrest Hill Milford United AFC/Auckland Football)
15. Ashley Arquette (Halswell United/Central Football)
17. Deven Jackson (Lynn-Avon United AFC/Auckland Football)
18. Isabella Richards (Three Kings United/Auckland Football)
Forwards
9. Martine Puketapu (Three Kings United/Auckland Football)
10. Jade Parris (Metro FC/Auckland Football)
11. Emily Oosterhof (Glenfield Rovers/Northern Football)
13. Paige Satchell (Rotorua United AFC/Waikato Bay of Plenty Football)
16. Sarah Morton (Maycenvale United/Central Football)
19. Tayla Christensen (Claudelands Rovers/Waikato Bay of Plenty Football)
Management Staff
Coach: Jitka Klimkova
Assistant Coach: Leon Birnie
Goalkeeper Coach: Pam Yates
Manager: Julie Hogg
Match Schedule – Group C
New Zealand v Paraguay
Sunday 16 March, 11am (Monday 17 March, 6am NZ time)
Tibas, Ricardo Saprissa Ayma Stadium
New Zealand v Spain
Wednesday 19 March, 5pm (Thursday 20 March, 12 noon NZ time)
Tibas, Ricardo Saprissa Ayma Stadium
New Zealand v Japan
Sunday 23 March, 5pm (Monday 24 March, 12 noon NZ time)
San Jose, National Stadium of Costa Rica
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz


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