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OFC women’s national teams in action this month

Tahiti are put through their paces in Pirae. Photo credit: FTF.

National teams from around the region are putting in the hard work this month as they prepare for the upcoming OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2022.

Reigning champions New Zealand are travelling across the Tasman to face their FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ co-hosts on April 8 and 12.

Head coach Jitka Klimková has recalled the likes of Grace Jale, Anna Green and Ally Green to the squad for the series.

Meanwhile, Fiji are also off to Australia. Head coach Lisa Cole will hope fixtures against first-time World Cup qualifiers the Philippines on April 7 and 11 in Sydney can inspire her side to future success.

Fiji, runners-up at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2018, will know a repeat of four years ago will give them a chance to enter the inter-confederation play-offs next February, with three World Cup spots up for grabs.

Papua New Guinea head coach Nicola Demaine has named a strong side for a Tri-Nations Series in Singapore, as they look to improve on their third-place Nations Cup finish in 2018.

PNG will face hosts Singapore and the Seychelles in the competition, taking on the latter on April 8 whilst facing the hosts on April 11, with all games being played at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Kallang.

Tahiti have also been putting in some hard work this month after gathering at the home of the Fédération Tahitienne de Football in Pirae, with players put through their paces on the training ground.

Samoa have been looking toward the future, with a talent identification drive in Auckland for New Zealand-based players keen on representing the nation at international level. 

Meanwhile, Vanuatu national team boss Yalou Robert has been busy delivering home training packages to his players, as a means of keeping them sharp amid a current Covid-19 related lockdown in the country.

The OFC Women’s Nations Cup 2022 is set to take place in July this year. With the automatic OFC qualification place for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 already allocated to New Zealand due to their status as co-hosts the winners of the competition or, in the case of New Zealand winning, the next best-placed team at the Nations Cup will qualify for the inter-confederation play-off where three further qualifiers will be established.

Those play-offs will take place in Australia and New Zealand from February 17-23 and all the OFC nations will be hoping they can make it.

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