Legendary player among World Cup visitors to Auckland’s Mangere United

Former FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist Hege Riise was among the visitors to Mangere United’s grounds as team officials checked out potential team bases in Auckland.

Clubs hoping to become team bases for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup have been hosting visits from officials representing national teams coming to New Zealand for the tournament.

The delegations to check out Mangere’s facilities included officials from the three national teams drawn to play in New Zealand’s Group A — Norway (who will play the opening game of the tournament), Philippines and Switzerland.

Main photo: The Norwegian visitors, including national women’s coach Hege Riise (centre). Photo: Mangere United.

Riise is among women’s football’s greatest players.

She played 188 times for her country, scoring 58 goals, winning the World Cup (1992),  the UEFA Women’s Championship (1993) and an Olympic Gold medal (Sydney 2000). She won the Golden Ball for top scoring at the 1992 World Cup.

Since taking up coaching, she’s held coaching roles with the United States, England and she managed Great Britain at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She became Norway’s national coach this year.

Since the cup draw on Saturday October 22, delegations have been visiting potential bases, including Mangere United’s facilities in South Auckland where the club photographed and welcomed visitors from Argentina, Norway, Senegal, Panama, Vietnam, Philippines, USA, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands, Zambia and Spain.

In a social media posting, Mangere United said: “We are proud to have brought so much visibility about the game to our region.

“We wish to also thank Neil Coventry (Tataki Auckland Unlimited) and Phil Gedge (Auckland Council) for their continued support to upgrade our facility to meet the FIFA standards.

“We hope to host one of these teams and to continue to grow the women’s game as a legacy to this event.”

New Zealand’s group rivals

The Philippines officials were among those to visit Mangere United.
Switzerland officials … they’ll compete in Group A with New Zealand, Norway and the Philippines.

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