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New Zealand name Football Ferns homecoming squad

New Zealand's Football Ferns will be back on home soil in 2018. Photo credit: NZF/Photosport.

New Zealand have named a 24-player homecoming squad for the upcoming Football Ferns homecoming games in Christchurch.

The two fixtures against Korea Republic will be the team’s first in New Zealand since June 2018.

Vic Esson, Meikayla Moore, Gabi Rennie, Ashleigh Ward and Kate Taylor will return to their hometown on Ferns duty for the first time, as the Ferns get set to play in Christchurch for the first time since 1991.

“I’m so happy for our players to finally have the chance to come home and play in front of their people,” says Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková.

“The team’s looking forward to getting to Christchurch, and playing in a city where we unfortunately won’t have FIFA Women’s World Cup games next year. Our goal is to inspire through football, so having that spread of games across New Zealand over the next year will give more people the opportunity to watch international football.”

The November window squad also marks a first senior call up for Wellington Phoenix midfielder Grace Wisnewski. Wisnewski, who impressed in her first A-League season with the Phoenix, is the latest Junior Football Fern from this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ squad to receive a senior call-up.

She made headlines in Costa Rica this August, forcing a Mexican own goal in the opening game.

Klimková is looking forward to welcoming the midfielder to the Ferns.

“Grace has been a consistent performer in the A-League and at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. I always saw her as an aggressive defender, but in the World Cup environment she also showed how dangerous she is going forward, especially against Colombia,” Klimková says.

“I also want to commend Grace on her bravery in talking about her challenges at the end of the A-League season,” she says.

“After taking a few months out before the World Cup in Costa Rica she has come back so much stronger, and can be a great role model for other young players coming through.”

The Ford Football Ferns last played world 17-ranked Korea Republic in a two-game series last November, securing Klimková’s first win as Ferns head coach.

Ford Football Ferns squad November 2022

Elizabeth Anton; Perth Glory, Australia (13/0)

Mackenzie Barry; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (1/0)

Katie Bowen; Unattached (85/3)

Claudia Bunge; Melbourne Victory FC, Australia (14/0)

Olivia Chance; Celtic FC, Scotland (35/1)

Daisy Cleverley; HB Køge, Denmark (22/2)

Ava Collins; St John’s University, USA (5/0)

Victoria Esson; Rangers FC, Scotland (10/0)

Ally Green; Vålerenga, Norway (2/0)

Jacqui Hand; Aland United, Finland (10/1)

Betsy Hassett; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (135/14)

Grace Jale; Canberra United, Australia (8/2)

Anna Leat; Aston Villa FC, England (9/0)

Meikayla Moore; Glasgow City FC, Scotland (58/4)

Erin Nayler; Umeå IK, Sweden (78/0)

Gabi Rennie; Arizona State University, USA (16/2)

Ali Riley; Angel City FC, USA (147/2)

Indiah-Paige Riley; Fortuna Hjørring, Denmark (3/0)

Emma Rolston; Avaldsnes IL, Norway (13/6)

Paige Satchell; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (33/2)

Malia Steinmetz; Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia (11/0)

Kate Taylor; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ (5/0)

Ashleigh Ward; Southampton FC, England (2/0)

Grace Wisnewski; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ, (0/0)*

* Debut squad

New Zealand v Korea Republic: Game 1

Saturday, November 12, 2.30pm NZT.

New Zealand v Korea Republic: Game 2

Tuesday, November 15, 6.00pm NZT.

Both games are being played at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.

– New Zealand Football

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