The New Zealand Football Ferns will play a two-game series against Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallists Canada on October 23 and 26 (Canadian time).
The matches mark the start of preparations towards the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™, where co-hosts New Zealand and Australia will kick-off the opening match at Eden Park.
New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell said it’s an important first step.
“We’re delighted to have secured this series against Canada,” Pragnell said.
“Despite the challenges posed to international football by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we can get Jitka Klimková and the squad together and begin planning a route to success in 2023.
“Our expectation is that all future international windows for the Football Ferns will be filled, and with high quality opposition.
“The preparation for our opening game starts now, and opponents don’t get much higher quality than Olympic gold medallists.”
Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková’s echoed those thoughts.
“To play our first game against the Olympic champions is a great way to get started,” said Klimková.
“Even though there are many challenges to playing games at the moment, it is also a no-brainer.
“We want to play games, and we want to play games against the best – because this is what can make us better much quicker.
“I’m excited to get the squad together, to get on the field and to get to work. This is the start of our campaign for our home World Cup.”
Given the restrictions around New Zealand’s quarantine requirements, New Zealand Football said that for this international window the squad and staff will be predominantly drawn from Europe and North America.
October 23, 3.00pm (Canada ET)/October 24, 8.00 am (NZT), Ottawa, Ontario (TD Place)
October 26, 7.30pm (Canada ET)/October 27, 12.30pm (NZT), Montreal, Quebec (Stade Saputo)
Courtesy of NZF