Football Ferns to play their first international in Napier in lead-up to World Cup

The Football Ferns will play Vietnam in a friendly international at Napier’s McLean Park in July — the first time the city has hosted the national women’s team.

The game will be the Ferns’ final warm-up game ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The match is scheduled for a 5.30pm kick-off on Monday July 10.

Vietnam are currently 33rd in the FIFA women’s rankings, compared to New Zealand’s rating of 25.

READ MORE: Football Ferns slip in FIFA world rankings after latest round of international games >>>>

Ford Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková said:

“We want to go into the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the best possible shape so playing a team like Vietnam just before the start of the tournament provides the right mix of opposition for us at this stage of our build-up campaign.

“We will have had the majority of the squad in our pretournament training programme for a number of weeks before the game, so this match is the perfect opportunity to put what we will have been working on into action in a full international friendly environment.

“We also know how difficult things have been for the people of Hawke’s Bay this year, including for our players’ friends and families in the region, so wanted to make this game our final public match before the tournament and show our support to them.”

Napier’s McLean Park … to host its first full women’s international game. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons.

Mayor of Napier Kirsten Wise said:

“Napier is the perfect place to hold world-class events of all kinds, and top sporting fixtures are a special highlight.

“We are very proud to be hosting the Football Ferns for the first time. It’s particularly exciting to be a centre for football fever as New Zealand gets ready to co-host one of the largest sporting events in the world: the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.”

The match in Napier is the eighth Ford Football Ferns home international fixture in the last 12 months following games in Ōtautahi Christchurch (November 2022), Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (January 2023), Kirikiriroa Hamilton (February 2023) and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (January and February 2023).

The Ford Football Ferns will start their home FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 campaign vs Norway in the tournament’s opening game at Eden Park on Thursday July 20.


Game to be played on Monday July 10, 2023

New Zealand v Vietnam
McLean Park, Napier, 5.30pm


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