PREVIEW: Football Ferns face high-altitude test against Colombians

The Football Ferns face an extra challenge when they play Colombia on Sunday — playing at an altitude of 2,600 metres above sea level.

Head coach Jitka Klimková said part of the Ferns’ pre-game preparation was working out how best to cope with the acclimatisation required.

“Everybody’s responding a little bit differently. It depends on the individual,” she told a media briefing.

“We know how much it’s important now to hydrate, to have proper recovery, to have good nutrition and good sleep hygiene. So all those little details are helping us to be prepared.”

Klimková said the effort was going into the two-game series in Colombia, as it would lead on to the Oceania Olympic qualifier series in February.

READ MORE: Details released for New Zealand’s games at OFC Women’s Olympic qualifiers >>>>

“I have never seen this team and me, players and staff working so hard to be prepared for those two games against Columbia,” Klimková said.

Main photo: The Ferns training in Bogata. Photo credit: NZ Football.

Six of the 24-player squad are uncapped, and Klimková has used the Colombia trip as a chance to introduce teenagers Ruby Nathan (18) and Manaia Elliott (18).

READ MORE: From boys’ football to the Ferns in a year — the rapid rise of winger Manaia Elliott >>>>

Colombia’s acting head coach Ángelo Marsiglia has also used the games to introduce youth, selecting uncapped goalkeeper Luisa Fernanda Agudelo who is 16.

PREVIEW: Colombian gameplan to beat Ferns is ‘to mess them up with the ball’ >>>>

Colombia, who reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, are 22nd in the current FIFA world rankings, while the Ferns are 26th.



Catalina Pérez (36 caps), Werder Bremen
Luisa Fernanda Agudelo (0 caps), Deportivo Cali, Colombia
Sandra Sepúlveda (73 caps), Independiente Medelin, Colombia

Ángela Barón (3 caps), Atlético Nacional, Colombia
Carolina Arias (103 caps), Sante Fe, Colombia
Daniela Arias (23 caps), América de Cali, Colombia
Daniela Caracas (46 caps), Espanyol, Spain
Jorelyn Carabalí (33 caps), Brighton & Hove Albion, England
Mónica Ramos (8 caps), Grêmio, Brazil
Viviana Acosta (14 caps), Independiente Santa Fe, Colombia

Daniela Montoya (captain) (84 caps), Atlético Nacional, Colombia
Gabriela Huertas (3 caps), Santa Fe, Colombia
Lady Andrade (63 caps), Real Brasilia, Brazil
Leicy Santos (63 caps), Atlético Madrid, Spain
Lorena Bedoya Durango (21 caps), Real Brasilia, Brazil
Manuela Vanegas (43 caps), Real Sociedad, Spain
Marcela Restrepo (28 caps), DUX Logrono, Spain
María Camila Reyes (3 caps), Sante Fe, Colombia

Catalina Usme (93 caps), América de Cali, Colombia
Elexa Bahr (20 caps), América de Cali, Colombia
Ivonne Chacón (13 caps), Valencia, Spain
Manuela Paví (8 caps), Atlético Mineiro, Brazil
Mayra Ramírez (53 caps), Levante, Spain

Acting head coach: Ángelo Marsiglia

New Zealand

Brianna Edwards (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Victoria Esson (20 caps) Rangers, Scotland
Anna Leat (11 caps) Aston Villa, England

Mackenzie Barry (7 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Katie Bowen (98 caps) Inter Milan, Italy
Michaela Foster (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Ally Green (5 caps) AGF, Denmark
Grace Neville (6 caps) London City Lionesses, England
Ali Riley (159 caps) Angel City, United States
Rebekah Stott (95 caps) Melbourne City, Australia
Marisa van der Meer* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Daisy Cleverley (31 caps) HB Køge, Denmark
Manaia Elliott* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Betsy Hassett (150 caps) Stjarnan FC, Iceland
Aniela Jensen* (0 caps) University of the Pacific, United States
Katie Kitching* (0 caps) Sunderland AFC, England
Malia Steinmetz (25 caps) FC Nordsjælland, Denmark
Kate Taylor (10 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Ava Collins (11 caps) St John’s University, United States
Jacqui Hand (17 caps) Åland United, Finland
Grace Jale (21 caps) Perth Glory, Australia
Ruby Nathan* (0 caps) Canberra United, Australia
Indiah-Paige Riley (14 caps) PSV Vrouwen, Netherlands
Paige Satchell (46 caps) London City Lionesses, England

*Debut Ford Football Ferns call-up.

Head coach: Jitka Klimková

Colombia play New Zealand in their second game on Wednesday December 6, 2023, at 9am (NZT).

READ MORE: Colombians opt to play Ferns behind closed doors in second international >>>>


Game to be played on Sunday December 3, 2023 (NZT)

Colombia v New Zealand
Estadio El Campin, Bogotá, Colombia, 10am (NZT)

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