Wellington Phoenix midfielder Alyssa Whinham has received her first call-up to the Football Ferns as part of a 24-player squad named for October’s international friendly against Japan.
The 18-year-old’s selection follows her break-out season for the A-League side and with the Junior Football Ferns’ FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign in August.
Main photo: Alyssa Whinham playing for the Junior Ferns against Australia this year. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Despite being signed as a scholarship player she featured in all 14 of the Phoenix’s matches, starting 12 in a row after impressing as a substitute in the team’s opening two games.
Whinham became the club’s second-ever goal scorer when she found the back of the net against Brisbane Roar in January.
She’s currently a member of the Canterbury United Pride squad in the Women’s National League.
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Ferns chasing third win in a row
New Zealand head coach Jitka Klimková said:
“Alyssa will bring a lot of creativity to the Ferns whānau — her skills on the ball are just different compared with what we have in the team so far.
“She’s a very unpredictable player and it will be fun to see how she fits in, and how she adapts to the greater physicality and speed of senior international football.”
The Ferns go into the October international window off the back of wins against Mexico and the Philippines.
Klimková is pleased the team has the opportunity to come back together so quickly as they continue to build towards next year’s home FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It’s great that we’re coming back together so soon after two wins, giving us the opportunity to build on that momentum as we go into this window’s game with Japan, who obviously are a tough opposition.”
Japan are undefeated since February when they made the semi-finals of the AFC Women’s Championship and were eliminated by eventual winners China on penalties.
The Football Ferns squad
Elizabeth Anton; Perth Glory, Australia
Mackenzie Barry; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ
Hannah Blake; University of Michigan, USA
CJ Bott; Leicester City, England
Katie Bowen; North Carolina Courage, USA
Claudia Bunge; Melbourne Victory FC, Australia
Olivia Chance; Celtic FC, Scotland
Victoria Esson; Rangers FC, Scotland
Ally Green; Vålerenga, Norway
Jacqui Hand; Åland United, Finland
Betsy Hassett; Stjarnan, Iceland
Grace Jale; Canberra United, Australia
Anna Leat; Aston Villa FC, England
Meikayla Moore; Glasgow City FC, Scotland
Erin Nayler; Umeå IK, Sweden
Gabi Rennie; Arizona State University, USA
Ali Riley; Angel City FC, USA
Indiah-Paige Riley; Fortuna Hjorring, Denmark
Emma Rolston; Avaldsnes IL, Norway
Paige Satchell; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ
Malia Steinmetz; Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia
Kate Taylor; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ
Hannah Wilkinson; Melbourne City FC, Australia
Alyssa Whinham; Wellington Phoenix FC, NZ*
* First Ford Football Ferns call up
Japan v Football Ferns
Nagano U Stadium, Nagano, Japan
Sunday, October 9, 2022, 6.55pm (NZT)