AUCKLAND – The Football Ferns have secured a two match series with women’s world cup quarterfinalists China in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The two internationals on December 16 and 19 will provide a real test for the New Zealand side who are preparing to face Papua New Guinea in two Olympic playoff games in
New Zealand have met China before at September’s FIFA Women’s World Cup where they were beaten 2-0 in the group staged.
Recently re-appointed Football Ferns coach John Herdman has named a 16-strong squad for the week-long tour including U-20s goalkeeper Aroon Clansey, left-back Anna Green and
centreback Melissa Ray.
The trio are the only players selected from outside last year’s 21-strong World Cup squad with Ray on the comeback trail after breaking her leg in January.
New Zealand will be without their regular captain and FIFA world player-of-the-year nominee Rebecca Smith along with fellow World Cup representatives Rachel Howard, Marlies Oostdam,
Hannah Bromley, Rebecca Tegg, Stephanie Puckrin and Zoe Thompson who are all either injured or unavailable.
The Football Fern’s New Zealand-based players depart for China on Thursday.
Football Ferns to China, December 13-20:
Goalkeepers: Jenny Bindon (Three Kings United), Aroon Clansey (Glenfield Rovers).
Defenders: Ria Percival (Lynn Avon United), Abby Erceg (Western Springs). Anna Green (Three Kings United), Maia Jackman (Western Springs), Melissa Ray (Lynn Avon United).
Midfielders: Annalie Longo (Three Kings United), Emily McColl (Cocoa Expos/Coastal Carolina University), Emma Humphries (Cocoa Expos/Coastal Carolina University), Hayley Moorwood
(Lynn Avon United), Priscilla Duncan (Western Springs), Simone Carmichael (Ajax of Southern California).
Strikers: Merissa Smith (Three Kings United), Ali Riley (Stanford), Wendi Henderson (Upper Hutt AFC).
Management: John Herdman (Coach), Julie Hogg (Manager), Tony Readings (Technical Analyst), Helen Tunstall (Sports Science), Alysha Blackwell (Physiotherapist).
Sunday, December 16: China v Football Ferns, Guangzhou (8pm NZT).
Wed, December 19: China v Football Ferns, Guangzhou (8pm NZT)