New Zealand’s U-17 side kick off their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ campaign this week, aiming to follow in the footsteps of their impressive showing at the 2018 edition where they finished third.

The Young Football Ferns have been drawn in Group B of the competition alongside three tough opponents in Nigeria, Germany and Chile.

The tournament is hosted this year by India, with New Zealand’s group stage fixtures taking place at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa – starting with Chile at 12.00am Wednesday, October 12 NZT.

Head coach Leon Birnie has named a 21-player squad to represent their nation in India.

“We’re really pleased with the squad we’ve assembled for this World Cup,” Birnie said.

“This is a talented squad with good depth across all positions, and we’re really excited to see them make their mark on the world stage.”

There are two goals for the team this tournament, he said.

“Our purpose with this age group is to develop players and enable them to get experience against some of the best in the world in their age group,” he said.

“This will help them to develop so that in the future they can make that step up to the U-20s and Ford Football Ferns.

“The second goal, that the players have identified for themselves, is to get out of the group and be the second ever New Zealand team to progress beyond the group stage at this tournament.”

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup takes place from October 11-30. The 2020 edition, which was also due to be held in India, was cancelled due to the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand were nominated to be Oceania Football Confederation’s representatives at this World Cup after the Oceania qualifiers could not take place due to the effects of the pandemic.

In the 2018 edition of the tournament the Young Football Ferns created history when they were the first New Zealand national team to medal at a FIFA event, winning the bronze medal.

Young Football Ferns FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup squad (club, home federation, school):

Aimee Danieli; Auckland United FC; NRF; Epsom Girls Grammar School

Alexis Cook; Northern Rovers FC ; NRF; Westlake Girls High School

Charlotte Eagle; Melville United AFC; WaiBoP; Hamilton Girls High

Charlotte Mortlock; Cashmere Technical ; Mainland; Burnside High School

Ella McMillan; Phoenix Academy; Capital; AUT

Ella McCann; FC Nelson; Mainland; Waimea College

Emily (Milly) Clegg; Auckland United FC; NRF; Mount Albert Grammar

Helena Errington; Western Suburbs; Capital; Wellington Girls College

Kiara Bercelli; Alamein FC; Mainland; Te Kura

Lara Smith; Wellington United; Capital; Wellington Girls College

Lara Colpi; Western Springs AFC; NRF; Epsom Girls Grammar School

Madeleine Iro; Cashmere Technical; Mainland; Christchurch Girls High School

Manaia Elliott; Melville United AFC; WaiBoP; St Peters Cambridge

Marie Green; Ellerslie AFC; NRF; Baradene College

Megan Simpson ; Nomads United AFC; Mainland; St Andrews College

Olivia Ingham; Phoenix Academy; Capital; Onslow College

Olivia Page; Eastern Suburbs AFC; NRF; Baradene College

Rebekah Trewhitt; PN Marist FC; Central; St Peters College PN

Ruby Nathan; Auckland United FC; NRF; Baradene College

Suya Hearing; Northern Rovers FC; NRF; Rangitoto College

Zoe Benson; Eastern Suburbs AFC; NRF; Macleans College

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Group B Match details

Chile v New Zealand: October 11, 4.30pm KO local time (October 12, 12.00am NZT)

New Zealand v Nigeria:  October 14, 4.30pm KO local time (October 15, 12.00am NZT)

New Zealand v Germany: October 17, 4.30pm KO local time (October 18, 12.00am NZT)

All Young Football Ferns games will be broadcast on Sky Sport NZ.

– New Zealand Football