21 Jan 2015

Continuity feature of Football Ferns squad

1:14 pm on 21 January 2015

Continuity is the feature of the New Zealand women's football squad named today for next month's tri-series involving North Korea and Australia in Auckland.

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings look over training footage.

Football Ferns coach Tony Readings Photo: Photosport

After claiming a win and a draw against 16th ranked Denmark in Turkey last week, the Football Ferns coach, Tony Readings has opted for the same mix of players.

Only U-20 internationals Daisy Cleverley and CJ Bott have dropped out of the named squad but will still train with the group.

Readings says the continuity of team selection is a key factor in the success of the side over a prolonged period and will be important in the lead up to the World Cup in Canada in June.

"We've got a really strong depth in our squad and as soon as you remove two or three of those top players, then the continuity goes in the team.

"A lot of the success in the last few years has been based on that core group of players that have been together now for a long time so it's great to be able to name the same squad and long may that continue through to the World Cup."

Readings says the focus of the group will be similar to the recent series over Denmark with players getting a chance to impress while they continue to refine their team approach.

He says facing two sides in the world's top 10 in a short space of time will help the Football Ferns replicate what they'll face in Canada.

Fullback Ria Percival will become the second New Zealander, following Football Ferns captain Abby Erceg, to register 100 games for her country in her next match.

Goalkeepers: Cushla Lichtwark, Erin Nayler

Defenders: Katie Bowen, Abby Erceg, Meikayla Moore, Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Rebekah Stott

Midfielders: Hayley Bowden, Betsy Hassett, Katie Hoyle, Annalie Longo, Kirsty Yallop

Forwards: Helen Collins, Sarah Gregorius, Amber Hearn, Rosie White, Hannah Wilkinson

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