Soccer: Football Ferns to play China

The Football Ferns will play two home internationals against China in Auckland later this month to kickstart their Olympic preparations. Photo / Getty Images.
The Football Ferns will play two home internationals against China in Auckland later this month to kickstart their Olympic preparations. Photo / Getty Images.

The Football Ferns will play two home internationals against China in Auckland later this month to kickstart their Olympic preparations.

The matches at Centre Park, Mangere on Sunday June 17 and at North Harbour Stadium on Wednesday June 20 are likely to feature all of the Ferns overseas based professionals, who will be back in town for an Olympic preparation camp.

The teams have met 12 times in past including eight matches since 2006 and China has won every encounter so far.

New Zealand coach Tony Readings said a positive result against the Chinese would be a huge fillip for his side's London preparations.

"China are a big nation with a proud history in women's football," said Readings.

"They're a team we played a lot in the past, one that we have been able to get close to without knocking over yet so these two matches will be a great gauge of where we are at a month out from the Olympic Games.

"We've never played them at home so hopefully the support here will give the edge this time."

The Wednesday night match will be broadcast live in both countries.

The two China tests will quickly be followed by two matches against Australia in Wollongong with the men's Olympic team having also confirmed a July 11 match against Japan in Tokyo.

- APNZ

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