New Zealand’s Football Ferns could become the classic party-poopers when they meet Olympic Gold medalists Canada in the first of two friendly games on Sunday (October 24, NZT).
It will be the first time since May 2019 that the Canadians have staged a home international – after playing 29 consecutive games away from home – and the first chance for the side to gather since winning gold in Japan on August 6.
The Canadians are calling the New Zealand games their ‘Celebration Tour’ and the squad is holding a reunion dinner to rejoice their Olympic success as the players had little chance to do so before departing the games.
Midfielder Desiree Scott (34) told the Toronto Star: “There’s something different about wearing the Canada red in your home country. And I know fans are going to be excited to get out and see us live.”
“To be able to bring this home in front of our fans and really celebrate and feel that support right in those stands is going to be incredible.”
The two-game series gives the Ferns (ranked 23rd in the world by FIFA) their chance to start a new era with an upset against 6th-ranked Canada.
Canada are coached by Bev Priestman who worked for NZ Football between 2009 and 2013. Click here for more about Priestman and her New Zealand links >>>>
It will be the first game in charge for new Ferns coach Jitka Klimková and she has named a squad with new blood and eye to building for the 2023 FIFA World Cup to be held in Australia/New Zealand.
Centurion Rosie White is back in the squad, after missing the Olympic Games due to illness.
Photo: Rosie White – image courtesy of Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
MIQ considerations meant players based in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia were unavailable for selection while Abby Erceg was unavailable for personal reasons.
Klimková: “Whether you have one cap or a hundred caps, this is an opportunity for these young players to start to come in and test themselves against the older players. Being in this camp, preparing to play and playing against the Olympic champions will challenge these players.”
Victoria Esson, Avaldsnes IL, 3/0
Anna Leat, West Ham United, 5/0
Erin Nayler, Unattached, 73/0
CJ Bott, Vålerenga, 27/1
Katie Bowen, KC, 73/3
Tahlia Herman-Watt, Arizona State University, 0/0*
Meikayla Moore, Liverpool FC, 44/3
Ali Riley, Orlando Pride, 137/1
Amelia Abbott, University of Texas, 0/0*
Hannah Blake, University of Michigan, 2/0
Daisy Cleverley, Georgetown University, 12/2
Betsy Hassett, Stjarnan, 123/13
Aniela Jensen, University of the Pacific, 0/0*
Ria Percival, Tottenham Hotspur, 153/14
Emma Rolston, Arna-Bjørnar, 6/6
Olivia Chance, Celtic FC, 22/1
Ava Collins, St John’s University, 0/0*
Jacqui Hand, Colorado College, 0/0*
Maggie Jenkins, University of Central Florida, 1/0
Gabi Rennie, Indiana University, 3/1
Sam Tawharu, University of Iowa, 0/0*
Rosie White, OL Reign, 109/24
*Debut Football Ferns squad
The Celebration Tour
Sunday October 24, 8:00 am (NZT), Ottawa, Ontario (TD Place)
Wednesday October 27, 12.30 pm (NZT), Montreal, Quebec (Stade Saputo)
Both games will be live on Sky Sport