A minor injury has forced defender Rebekah Stott to pull out of the Football Ferns squad to meet Portugal, opening the way for Michaela Foster to go into the matchday squad.
Foster (24) was listed as a training player for Friday’s friendly international but Stott’s withdrawal means she’ll be on the bench, at least, as she returns to her home town Hamilton for the match at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Stott (29), who plays for English club Brighton & Hove Albion, has been playing herself back to full fitness after a three-month rehabilitation period following ankle reconstruction surgery.
Foster, meanwhile, has been a stand-out player in her first season with the Wellington Phoenix A-League squad and was a late inclusion for the Ferns, as a training player, when Phoenix teammate Grace Wisnewski withdrew from the national squad due to personal reasons.
The late amendment to the Ferns squad follows previous changes caused by injury.
Goalkeepers Vic Esson and Anna Leat both dropped out of the squad and were replaced by Brianna Edwards and Murphy Sheaff.
Michaela Foster interview
Foster was the subject of a special feature on The Kiwi Football Fix:
Game to be played on Friday February 17, 2023
New Zealand v Portugal
FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, 7pm (NZT)
How to watch
Prime (free-to-air), Sky Sport 2, Sky Sport 7.
Football Ferns Squad
Brianna Edwards (0/0) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Erin Nayler (81/0) (IFK Norrköping, Sweden)
Murphy Sheaff (0/0) (Jacksonville University, United States)
Liz Anton (16/0) (Perth Glory, Australia)
Mackenzie Barry (5/0) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
CJ Bott (36/2) (Leicester City, England)
Katie Bowen (87/3) (Melbourne City, Australia)
Claudia Bunge (16/0) (Melbourne Victory, Australia)
Meikayla Moore (60/4) (Glasgow City, Scotland)
Grace Neville (1/0) (London City Lionesses, England)
Ali Riley (captain) (149/2) (Angel City, United States)
Michaela Foster (0/0) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Kate Taylor (6/0) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Olivia Chance (40/2) (Celtic, Scotland)
Daisy Cleverley (27/2) (HB Køge, Denmark)
Betsy Hassett (138/13) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Malia Steinmetz (13/0) (Western Sydney Wanderers, Australia)
Ava Collins (9/0) (St John’s University, United States)
Grace Jale (12/2) (Canberra United, Australia)
Gabi Rennie (20/2) (Arizona State University, United States)
Indiah-Paige Riley (6/0) (Brisbane Roar, Australia)
Paige Satchell (37/2) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Hannah Wilkinson (108/27) (Melbourne City, Australia)
GK: Victoria Esson — injured, (12/0) (Rangers, Scotland)
GK: Anna Leat — injured, (9/0) (Aston Villa, England)
DF: Rebekah Stott — injured, (87/4) (Brighton & Hove Albion, England)
MF: Grace Wisnewski — personal reasons (1/0) (Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand)
Head coach: Jitka Klimková