Three new players have been added to the Football Ferns squad to play FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 quarter-finalists Colombia their two-match series in Bogotá.
Receiving their debut call-ups are Wellington Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser, Sunderland midfielder Katie Kitching and Canberra United forward Ruby Nathan.
Main photo: Macey Fraser … selected for the Ferns after an impressive start to the women’s A-League.
Fraser (21) and Nathan (18) were part of the New Zealand side at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in August 2022 and both made their women’s A-League debuts this season.
Box-to-box midfielder Kitching (25) has enjoyed a strong start to the English Women’s Championship season, with two goals and two assists, and has played in every game so far for Sunderland, who are second on the table.
Head coach Jitka Klimková has named five players who return to the 24-player squad after not being part of the September 2023 fixtures.
They are Wellington Phoenix’s Mackenzie Barry, Adelaide United’s Hannah Blake, HB Koge’s Daisy Cleverley, St John’s University’s Ava Collins and Glasgow City’s Meikayla Moore.
Forward Hannah Wilkinson is unavailable for these games as she is serving a two-game suspension following her red card against Chile in September.
“After a historic and special 2023, our focus now switches to the next cycle and putting the team in the best possible position to qualify for the Olympics,” Klimková says.
“It is exciting to bring in three new players, as well as welcome back a number of Ferns, all of whom have earned their place in the squad based on their strong performances for their clubs.
“The games against Colombia will be a good test for us. I want our players to be exposed to the challenge of playing a South American style of play, which will help us grow as a team.
“We showed the potential we have as a side during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and now we need to be delivering performances like that consistently.”
Midfielder Annalie Longo has made herself unavailable for the tour while she returns to full fitness with the Wellington Phoenix, having missed the start of the Liberty A-League season with injury.
Grace Wisnewski also travelled to South America with the New Zealand squad in September, but the Phoenix midfielder was not considered for selection after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee against Brisbane Roar.
New Zealand squad
Mackenzie Barry (7 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Hannah Blake (6 caps) Adelaide United, Australia
Katie Bowen (98 caps) Inter Milan, Italy
Daisy Cleverley (31 caps) HB Køge, Denmark
Ava Collins (11 caps) St John’s University, United States
Brianna Edwards (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Victoria Esson (20 caps) Rangers, Scotland
Michaela Foster (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Macey Fraser* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
Ally Green (5 caps) AGF, Denmark
Jacqui Hand (17 caps) Åland United, Finland
Betsy Hassett (150 caps) Stjarnan FC, Iceland
Grace Jale (21 caps) Perth Glory, Australia
Katie Kitching* (0 caps) Sunderland AFC, England
Anna Leat (11 caps) Aston Villa, England
Meikayla Moore (63 caps) Glasgow City, Scotland
Ruby Nathan* (0 caps) Canberra United, Australia
Grace Neville (6 caps) London City Lionesses, England
Ali Riley (159 caps) Angel City, United States
Indiah-Paige Riley (14 caps) PSV Vrouwen, Netherlands
Paige Satchell (46 caps) London City Lionesses, England
Malia Steinmetz (25 caps) FC Nordsjælland, Denmark
Rebekah Stott (95 caps) Melbourne City, Australia
Kate Taylor (10 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand
*Debut Ford Football Ferns call-up.
Game to be played on Sunday December 3, 2023 (NZT)
Colombia v New Zealand
Estadio El Campin, Bogotá, Colombia, 10am (NZT)
Game to be played on Wednesday December 6, 2023
Colombia v New Zealand
Estadio Metropolitano de Techo, Bogotá, Colombia, 9am (NZT)
Both games will be streamed live and free on FIFA+ in Aotearoa New Zealand.