(Photo Credit OFC Media via Phototek)
The New Zealand squad has been unveiled this afternoon for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 which kicks off next month in New Zealand and Australia.
Oceania’s representatives at the showpiece tournament play the opening match against Norway on Thursday July the 20 at Eden Park in Auckland.
Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková has named 10 players who could make their World Cup debuts in her 23 strong squad for the tournament.
The major surprise is the omission of experienced defender Meikayla Moore who is one of three players who will be with the squad as training partners, the others being Ava Collins and Kate Taylor. Moore has 63 international caps.
Klimková says she’s proud of the work of all the extended squad during the two-month selection process.
“Firstly, I want to acknowledge all 38 players who have been involved in our training programme leading into the tournament, especially the final group who were part of the process until this week. They are all valued members of the Football Ferns whānau, they should feel proud to represent the best footballers in Aotearoa and have given us some very challenging selection decisions to make.”
Klimkova is confident the New Zealand team will perform in front of their home fans.
“I believe we have selected a good balance of youth and experience across the squad, from the 10 players making their debuts to other members of the group who have appeared at multiple FIFA Women’s World Cups.
“With the extra motivation and excitement surrounding the event on home soil, we now need the country to get behind the team as we look to inspire our nation and deliver one of our best ever performances at a FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
The Football Ferns tune up for the tournament in Napier on July 10 against Vietnam before their FIFA Women’s World Cup opener against Norway 10 days later.
The full squad is:
Elizabeth Anton (18/0) Perth Glory, Australia*
CJ Bott (37/2) Leicester City, England
Katie Bowen (92/3) Unattached
Claudia Bunge (20/0) Melbourne Victory, Australia*
Olivia Chance (43/2) Celtic, Scotland
Milly Clegg (2/0) Unattached*
Daisy Cleverley (31/2) HB Køge, Denmark
Victoria Esson (14/0) Rangers, Scotland
Michaela Foster (4/0) Unattached*
Jacqui Hand (12/1) Åland United, Finland*
Betsy Hassett (143/13) Stjarnan, Iceland
Grace Jale (17/2) Unattached*
Anna Leat (9/0) Aston Villa, England*
Annalie Longo (127/15) Unattached
Erin Nayler (84/0) IFK Norrköping, Sweden
Ria Percival (161/15) Tottenham Hotspur, England
Gabi Rennie (24/2) Arizona State University, USA*
Ali Riley (152/2) Angel City, USA
Indiah-Paige Riley (7/0) Unattached*
Paige Satchell (42/2) Unattached
Malia Steinmetz (18/0) Unattached*
Rebekah Stott (89/4) Brighton & Hove Albion, England
Hannah Wilkinson (113/28) Melbourne City, Australia
*FIFA Women’s World Cup debut
New Zealand FIFA Women’s World Cup fixtures (all times NZT)
Thursday 20 July 2023
Eden Park, Auckland
7pm – New Zealand vs Norway
Tuesday 25 July 2023
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
5:30pm – New Zealand vs Philippines
Sunday 30 July 2023
Dunedin Stadium, Dunedin
7pm – New Zealand vs Switzerland