Coach Leon Birnie has named a 19-player squad to represent New Zealand at September’s OFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Tahiti.
The winner of the tournament will qualify for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be held in the Dominican Republic.
UPDATE: Since this story was first published, Samoa and Papau New Guinea have withdrawn from the tournament. As a result, the planned dates for the tournament have changed and a new draw has been organised.
The 10-team OFC tournament will be staged from September 13-30, 2023.
Announcing the squad, NZ Football said the head coach would be Birnie, who returns to the role after previously leading the U-17 team for two World Cup cycles, including to a historic third place finish at the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
“Natalie Lawrence had previously been set to be head coach but has decided to take a new role overseas starting in September,” NZ Football said.
New Zealand squad
Putri Ardana (Auckland United)
Laura Bennett (Melville United)
Mackenzie Bryant (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Sophie Campbell (Palmerston North Marist)
Isla Cleall-Harding (Taradale AFC)
Amber De Wit (Nomads United)
Charli Dunn (Western Springs)
Alyssha Eglinton (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Emily Humphrey (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Ela Jerez (Western Springs_
Kara McGillivray (Auckland United)
Kyra Morgan (Western Suburbs)
Brooke Neary (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Angela Pivac (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Katie Pugh (Nelson Suburbs)
Holly Robins (Wellington Phoenix Academy)
Hannah Saxon (Eastern Suburbs)
Pia Vlok (Auckland United)
Natalie Young (Hamilton Wanderers)
New Zealand will play the Cook Islands and Samoa in their pool games.
The format for the OFC U-16 tournament will see three groups produce quarter-finalists, followed by semi-finals on September 27, and the final on September 30.
The match schedule