New Zealand U-19s skipper Manaia Elliott: ‘We have confidence in our teammates’

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New Zealand captain Manaia Elliott says the rotation of players at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship demonstrates the depth in their squad as they prepare for Saturday’s final against Fiji.

“I think it also just shows the depth in the team, that the coach has confidence in all our players and that we have confidence in our teammates that we can all go out there on the day and perform to the best of our abilities,” she said in a pre-final interview.

Main photo: New Zealand’s Manaia Elliott … ‘we have confidence in our teammates.’

Fiji captain Adi Bakaniceva and New Zealand captain Manaia Elliott with the trophy. Credit: OFC / Kirk Corrie — Phototek.

Coach Leon Birnie has rotated his New Zealand line-ups throughout the tournament in Fiji, in which his side have won all four games without conceding a goal.

He has acknowledged he faces a “tough decision” in choosing a line-up for the final, and warns there will be some disappointed players.

READ MORE: Coach Leon Birnie faces ‘tough decision’ ahead of Saturday’s final against Fiji >>>>

Elliott says her key message to her teammates will be to relax and remain composed throughout the final, the winner of which automatically qualifies for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Watch Manaia Elliott’s interview


Games to be played on Saturday July 8, 2023

Play-off for third place

Samoa v Cook Islands
HFC Stadium, Suva, 1pm (NZT)


New Zealand v Fiji
HFC Stadium, Suva, 7pm (NZT)

How to watch the game

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