There’s plenty of men’s and women’s football to watch this weekend, either live or on the television.
Our Ferns and Junior Ferns are both in action against Australia; the Wellington Phoenix have a tough challenge ahead; and we have plenty of Northern League and Lotto NRFL games to pick from for an afternoon in the fresh air.
Here’s our round-up of what to watch, what to do, and when, over the weekend of Friday April 8 — Sunday April 10.
Australia’s Matildas v Football Ferns
QCB Stadium, Townsville
Kick off: 9.45pm
Watch: Prime TV (free to air), Sky Sport 2, Sky Sport 7
With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup looming, the Australian and New Zealand national sides have agreed to a two-match series to help start their preparations.
This first game will be played in the hot and humid evening air of Townsville, Queensland.
The match will provide an early opportunity to benchmark the sides. The Ferns are currently rated 22nd in the FIFA world rankings while the Matildas are 12th, having fallen from a high of 4th in 2017.
New Zealand will be without Jacqui Hand who has tested positive for COVID-19. The Ferns squad is:
Lily Alfeld, Victoria Esson, Erin Nayler, Elizabeth Anton, Katie Bowen, Claudia Bunge, Anna Green, Meikayla Moore, Ali Riley, Rebekah Stott, Ashleigh Ward, Olivia Chance, Daisy Cleverley, Betsy Hassett, Grace Jale, Ria Percival, Malia Steinmetz, Ava Collins, Gabi Rennie, Emma Rolston, Paige Satchell, Hannah Wilkinson.
Northern League / Lotto NRFL
Our tipster Jonno Ross has looked through the Saturday fixtures, trying to pick the games of the weekend for the neutral who wants entertainment.
Wellington Phoenix v Western United
Kick-off: 4.05pm (NZT)
Watch: Sky Sport 7
The Phoenix have been knocked off-stride by COVID, injuries and having players away with the All Whites.
The outcome has been two bad back-to-back losses and now there’s the challenge of facing second-placed Western United.
Only three points separate the teams placed 4th-8th on the table … and two will miss out on the play-offs (which are for the top six sides).
Two weeks ago, the Phoenix were 4th; they now need to make ground from 7th spot.
Let’s keep believing …
Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League
Could there be a shift in power among the top women’s teams in the north?
Reigning champions Eastern Suburbs were beaten 6-1 last weekend, and sides like Northern Rovers, Ellerslie and West Coast Rangers are emerging as strong contenders.
Writer Jonno Ross has checked out the games and tips those he thinks will provide the best entertainment.
Australia Young Matildas v Junior Ferns
U-20 friendly international
Viking Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off 4pm (NZT)
Watch: Live stream by BarTVSports’ YouTube channel
The Australians won the first game in this two-match series 5-1 on Wednesday.
Can the Gemma Lewis-coached New Zealanders find a way to gain ground on the Australians?
Both sides are using these games to prepare for August’s U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament in Costa Rica.
… and there’s more
BAY OLYMPIC: Friends and fans of the late Ian Ormond are invited to Bay Olympic’s game against Birkenhead United on Saturday to honour the former New Zealand international who died last October.
METRO FC: For some family fun, Metro FC are hosting a fun open day on Sunday at their Phyllis Reserve grounds in Mt Albert. It runs from 3pm-5pm with games, a BBQ and fun drills led by senior men and women players.