Football Ferns legend Wendy Sharpe says the woes of the current national team are down to a lack of getting the basics right.
In a 10-minute radio interview, Sharpe has spelt out what she thinks is going wrong and what needs to be put right to end the Ferns’ eight-match winless streak in which they have scored only one goal.
Sharpe, who coaches young players in the Bay of Plenty these days, scored 38 goals for New Zealand in 53 games in her international career from 1980 to 1995.
Main photo: Wendy Sharpe … ‘we’re lacking a lot of the basics.’Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
When asked by host Jason Pine what was going wrong with the Ferns, Sharpe told listeners of NewstalkZB’s Weekend Sport show:
“I believe it’s a combination of things. We’re lacking a lot of the basics.
“Our first touch is letting us down. In front of goal, our body shape is letting us down, and that’s why you see shots going wide.
“Technique … you’re striking the ball with the wrong part of your foot.
“Panicking on the ball. We haven’t got time we used to have under pressure anymore because we’re under pressure a lot more now.
“If you get half a chance, you’ve got to hit target. Simple.”
Sharpe said she thought Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková had missed an opportunity to trying new players such as Wellington Phoenix striker Milly Clegg in the friendlies against Portugal and Argentina.
Sharpe said there was nothing to lose by finding out what these players had to offer.
When asked by Pine what she thought New Zealand’s chances were for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup, Sharpe said:
“I hate to say it, I don’t think we’ll get out of our group. If you don’t score goals, you don’t win games.”
Wendy Sharpe’s interview
Click on the media player below to hear Wendy Sharpe’s 10-minute review of the Ferns’ performance: