February 7, 2011
AUCKLAND - Uncapped youngsters Olivia Chance and Terri-Amber Carlson have been handed a golden opportunity to stake claims for a FIFA Women’s World Cup spot with inclusion in a 21 strong Football Ferns squad for the 2011 Cyprus Cup in early March.
Chance, from Tauranga, was among New Zealand’s standout performers at the 2010 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, was player of the Women’s Knockout Cup final for Claudelands Rovers and has made a bright start to Waikato-Bay of Plenty’s ASB Women’s Youth League campaign.
Wellingtonian Carlson, who will suit up for North Shore club Glenfield Rovers this season in order to train full-time with the New Zealand squad, is a graduate of the FIFA World Cup U-20 campaign.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup looming in June, Football Ferns coach John Herdman has included Chance, 17, and Carlson, 20, in a squad heavy on midfielders and forwards has he looks for the right blend to take to Germany.
“The Football Ferns are going in to this World Cup with high hopes,” said Herdman, “but the type of team we’ve been evolving towards needs players that have that little bit extra in the middle to attacking third.”
“Terri-Amber and Olivia both displayed a mindset of wanting to beat players, wanting to get on the ball and they’ve shown some technical qualities that could actually help us unlock international defences.”
The squad also features recalls for Annalie Longo and Hannah Wall who missed October’s World Cup qualifiers through injury, while goalkeeper Jenny Bindon and 21-year-olds Abby Erceg and Ria Percival could all earn their 50th caps on tour.
New Zealand have been drawn against England, Japan and Mexico in the World Cup and Herdman sees the European defences of their Cyprus Cup Group B opposition France, Switzerland and the Netherlands as ideal tests.
“We’ve learned in the recent [goalless] draw against England that the teams we’ll come up against in the World Cup will be defensively compact and solid so we need players that can do something a little bit different. That could be current players stepping up and developing those qualities, both mentally and technically, or some new blood coming in.”
New Zealand made the top four of the 2009 Cyprus Cup and went one better last year by reaching the final where they lost 0-1 to Canada after defeating both Italy and Scotland en route.
This year though, all roads lead to Germany.
“We’ll be approaching the Cyprus Cup differently than we have in recent years. Our prime focus isn’t to win the event this year; it’s to find the right attacking chemistry to take in to a World Cup.
“For one, we’ve got to be mindful that England and Mexico will be at the Cyprus Cup and videoing our games and gathering data, so the less we give away the better.”
While Herdman and his coaching staff may keep some tactical tricks up their sleeve, the coach issued a timely warning to players, old and new alike, that they can’t afford to hold anything back.
“We’re defensively pretty solid but not creating enough opportunities, so players that have been wearing the shirt for the past couple of years need to keep stepping up or they are in danger of being overtaken by the new players coming in.
“In Cyprus we need the established players to show that they can move us towards winning a World Cup rather than just competing in one.”
Football Ferns squad for Cyprus Cup (Club – Matches/Goals)
Jenny BINDON (Hibiscus Coast (men) – 48/0)
Aroon CLANSEY (Three Kings United – 3/0)
Abby ERCEG (Fencibles United – 49/4)
Anna GREEN (Three Kings United – 29/3)
Kristy HILL (Three Kings United – 15/0)
Ria PERCIVAL (Ottawa Fury, Canada – 46/7)
Ali RILEY (Western New York Flash, USA – 40/1)
Rebecca SMITH (VfL Wolfsburg, Germany – 45/2)
Terri-Amber CARLSON (Glenfield Rovers – 0/0)
Betsy HASSETT (Univ. California Berkeley, USA – 15/1)
Katie HOYLE (Glenfield Rovers – 38/1)
Annalie LONGO (Three Kings United – 26/0)
Hayley MOORWOOD (Chelsea, England / Captain – 58/7)
Hannah WALL (Three Kings United – 9/2)
Kirsty YALLOP (Kristianstad, Sweden – 40/10)
Olivia CHANCE (Claudelands Rovers – 0/0)
Sarah GREGORIUS (Three Kings United – 7/7)
Amber HEARN (Ottawa Fury, Canada – 35/21)
Emma KETE (Three Kings United – 33/3)
Rosie WHITE (Three Kings United – 20/7)
Hannah WILKINSON (Glenfield Rovers – 12/7)
John HERDMAN (Head Coach)
Tony READIGS (Assistant Coach)
Simon EADDY (GK Coach)
Julie HOGG (Manager)
Jen SAYER (Physio)
Cesar MEYLAN (Sports Scientist)
Andy PEAT (Technical Analyst)
2011 Cyprus Cup
March 2-9, 2011
New Zealand v Netherlands
March 2, 5pm (Mar 3, 4am NZT)
GSP Stadium, Nicosia
New Zealand v Switzerland
March 4, 5pm (Mar 5, 4am NZT)
GSZ Stadium, Larnaca
New Zealand v France
March 7, 2pm (Mar 8, 1am NZT)
GSP Stadium, Nicosia
March 9 – match to be determined