August 1, 2012
AUCKLAND – Coach Aaron McFarland will adopt an “attacking philosophy” after finalising his Junior Football Ferns squad ahead of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan in eighteen days’ time.
The Junior Football Ferns will be among the first nations to get underway at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign when they face European outfit Switzerland on August 19 before a crunch match with host nation Japan three days later at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu. Powerhouses Mexico awaits the Junior Football Ferns in their final group match in Kobe on August 26.
Coach Aaron McFarland has set his sights on shedding his team’s tag as ‘group outsiders’ and reaching the second round.
“They are three very different opponents and on paper it’s a good draw for us,” McFarland said, “Switzerland present themselves as an orthodox, tough defending side. Japan is a team that will hurt us if we allow them a lot of possession and Mexico are a mix of Latin flair and pragmatism but we feel that each match presents an opportunity to collect points.”
McFarland has opted to include two players currently on Olympic Games duty with the Football Ferns. Hannah Wilkinson and Rosie White line up alongside two other overseas-based players in Nadia Pearl and Lincoln Ladies’ Katie Rood.
The squad is rounded off with a sprinkling of talent drawn from across New Zealand. Waikato-Bay of Plenty trio Olivia Chance, Holly Patterson and Katie Loye are joined by capital talents Evie Millyn and goalkeeper Corina Brown. Players from the Deep South - Ash Ward and Georgia Brown – are from Christchurch and Queenstown respectively. The focus is based very much on attack McFarland said.
“We have deliberately selected more forwards as we want to develop an attacking philosophy on the international stage. Most outcomes at this level are determined by the team with the confidence to try and control the game in possession,” McFarland said.
“We are working hard with the players to understand how to exploit the defensive strategies of our opposition, to be a team trying to win the game rather than not to lose.”
McFarland believes the Junior Football Ferns have made significant progress since losing 5-0 to a powerhouse outfit in the USA U-20 in Los Angeles two-and-a-half months ago.
“I feel like we have come a long way and many of our local friendlies would strongly suggest we are more cohesive in all elements of the game. However, we have not played international games since the USA so we won't fully know. We are feeling confident in our processes and feel we have enough fire power to hurt other teams,” McFarland said.
Junior Football Ferns squad for FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012
Erin NAYLER (Eastern Suburbs)
Corina BROWN (Three Kings United)
Jess REDDAWAY (Lynn-Avon United)
Bridgette ARMSTRONG (Glenfield Rovers)
Tessa BERGER (Three Kings United)
Caitlin SMALLFIELD (Glenfield Rovers)
Ashleigh WARD (Glenfield Rovers)
Holly PATTERSON (Claudelands Rovers)
Rebecca BURROWS (Three Kings United)
Lucy CARTER (Fencibles United)
Kate LOYE (Claudelands Rovers)
Tayla O'BRIEN (Lynn-Avon United)
Nadia PEARL (Fresno University, USA)
Katie BOWEN (Glenfield Rovers)
Evie MILLYN (Eastern Suburbs)
Olivia CHANCE (Claudelands Rovers)
Rosie WHITE (UCLA, USA)
Stephanie SKILTON (Glenfield Rovers)
Georgia BROWN (Three Kings United)
Hannah WILKINSON (Glenfield Rovers)
Katie ROOD (Lincoln Ladies, ENG)
Aaron McFARLAND Head Coach
Maia JACKMAN Assistant Coach
Gene GRANGER Goalkeeper Coach
Stevie BAXTER Technical Assistant
Tony READINGS Technical Advisor
Catherine PORTEOUS Physiotherapist
Harriet STEELE Sports Scientist
Mel PARNELL Doctor
Rob PICKSTOCK Manager
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012
August 19, 2012
New Zealand v Switzerland
At Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
August 22, 2012
Japan v New Zealand
At Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
August 26, 2012
Mexico v New Zealand
At Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium, Kobe
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup record – Junior Football Ferns
2006 – Russia
v. Australia lost 0-3
v. Russia lost 2-3
v. Brazil drew 0-0
2008 – Chile
v. Nigeria lost 2-3
v. Chile won 4-3
v. England drew 1-1
2010 – Germany
v. Sweden lost 1-2
v. Korea DPR lost 1-2
v. Brazil lost 1-4