Assistant coaches named for Nations Cup

Wendi Henderson brings extensive coaching experience and an illustrious playing career to the Football Ferns (Photosport)

New Football Ferns head coach Tom Sermanni will have the support of Wendi Henderson and Owain Prosser at the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in New Caledonia this month after the experienced pair were named as assistant coaches for the tournament.

A title win for New Zealand would mean qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and Henderson is an ideal figure to help the Football Ferns get there as she has taken part in two World Cups herself as a player, in 1991 and 2007. In doing so, she became the first ever Kiwi to represent her country in two senior World Cups and overall played in 64 ‘A’ internationals, scoring 17 goals.

The former striker took her first steps in coaching as a player-coach at club level before performing the same role for Capital Football in the National Women’s League, leading her region to two titles in six years.

She is now coach of Upper Hutt City in the Central W-League and led her side to the semi-finals of the Football Foundation Kate Sheppard Cup, the country’s premier female knockout competition, in 2017.

Henderson has previously worked with the Football Ferns as an assistant coach in 2004. 

“Wendi is a legend in the Ferns and was an outstanding player,” Sermanni says. “It’s really good to have that connection with the players who have stayed involved in the game. Having someone like Wendi involved is fantastic from both a staff and team perspective.”

Fellow assistant coach Prosser also brings valuable experience to the Ferns coaching set-up, having worked for the Football Association in England for numerous years before coming to New Zealand in 2012. He is an advanced coach educator for New Zealand Football, as well as acting as Football Development Manager (Junior).

He has coached at club level in the domestic game and also has experience on the global stage as an assistant coach with both the New Zealand U-17 and U-20 women’s teams. He helped mastermind the country’s first ever progression to the knockout stages of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2014 and was also on the coaching staff four years later in France, where New Zealand earned a memorable draw against the world-class hosts.

He was also assistant coach for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup two years ago in Jordan – in which New Zealand earned just their second ever win at the event – and held the same role with the Football Ferns for a two-match tour of the USA last year. Significantly, Prosser has extensive experience of World Cup qualifying campaigns after being involved in that process with the age-group national teams he has been part of.

The Football Ferns are preparing for the OFC Women’s Nations Cup with a training camp in Auckland this week and will depart for the tournament on Friday.

They are favourites to claim the regional title at the Nations Cup, which takes place in New Caledonia from 18 November to 1 December. New Zealand has been drawn in Group B with Tonga, the Cook Islands and Fiji.

Football Ferns squad for OFC Women’s Nations Cup (club, caps and goals)

Elizabeth Anton, Auckland Football 3, 0
CJ Bott, Vittsjo GIK, Sweden 10, 0
Katie Bowen, Utah Royals, USA 52, 2
Victoria Esson, Canterbury United Pride 2, 0
Anna Green, Capital Football 67, 7
Sarah Gregorius, Capital Football 85, 25
Betsy Hassett, KR Reykjavik, Iceland 103, 8
Grace Jale, Auckland Football 0, 0
Annalie Longo, Canterbury United Pride 106, 10
Meikayla Moore, MSV Duisburg, Germany 27, 1
Sarah Morton, Auckland Football 1, 0
Erin Nayler, Girondins Bordeaux, France 54, 0
Nadia Olla, Auckland Football 0, 0
Ria Percival, West Ham United, England 130, 13
Ali Riley, Chelsea FC, England, 115, 1 
Emma Rolston, MSV Duisburg, Germany 2, 0
Katie Rood, Bristol City, England 4, 0
Paige Satchell, Auckland Football 4, 0
Stephanie Skilton, Auckland Football 5, 0
Malia Steinmetz, Northern Lights 2, 0
Rebekah Stott, Melbourne City, Australia 64, 4
Rosie White, Chicago Red Stars, USA 91, 17

Support Staff

Head Coach: Tom Sermanni
Assistant Coaches: Wendi Henderson, Owain Prosser
Goalkeeping Coach: Duncan Reed
Team Manager: Angelina Lee-Hussien
Analyst: Alice Noyer
Physiotherapist: Emma Mackie
Doctor: Alyse Cameron
Sport Scientist: Reilly O’Meagher 

Article added: Wednesday 14 November 2018


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