Soccer: Junior Football Ferns named for U-20 World Cup

Coach Aaron McFarland has vowed to adopt an "attacking philosophy" after finalising his Junior Football Ferns squad ahead of the Fifa under-20 women's World Cup in Japan that gets underway in just over two weeks.

The Junior Football Ferns will be among the first nations to play at the event when they face Switzerland on August 19 before a crunch match with host nation Japan three days later at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu.

Powerhouse side Mexico awaits the Junior Football Ferns in their final group match in Kobe on August 26.

Coach Aaron McFarland has set his sights on shedding his team's tag as 'group outsiders' and reaching the second round.

"They are three very different opponents and on paper it's a good draw for us," McFarland said, "Switzerland present themselves as an orthodox, tough defending side. Japan is a team that will hurt us if we allow them a lot of possession and Mexico are a mix of Latin flair and pragmatism but we feel that each match presents an opportunity to collect points."

McFarland has opted to include two players currently on Olympic Games duty with the Football Ferns.

Hannah Wilkinson and Rosie White line up alongside two other overseas-based players in Nadia Pearl and Lincoln Ladies' Katie Rood.

The squad is rounded off with a sprinkling of talent drawn from across New Zealand.

Waikato-Bay of Plenty trio Olivia Chance, Holly Patterson and Katie Loye are joined by capital talents Evie Millyn and goalkeeper Corina Brown.

Players from the south - Ash Ward and Georgia Brown - are from Christchurch and Queenstown respectively.

The focus was very much on attack, McFarland said.

"We have deliberately selected more forwards as we want to develop an attacking philosophy on the international stage. Most outcomes at this level are determined by the team with the confidence to try and control the game in possession."

Squad: Goalkeepers: Erin Nayler (Eastern Suburbs), Corina Brown (Three Kings United), Jess Reddaway (Lynn-Avon United)

Defenders: Bridgette Armstrong (Glenfield Rovers), Tessa Berger (Three Kings United), Caitlin Smallfield (Glenfield Rovers), Ashleigh Ward (Glenfield Rovers), Holly Patterson (Claudelands Rovers)

Midfielders: Rebecca Burrows (Three Kings United), Lucy Carter (Fencibles United), Kate Loye (Claudelands Rovers), Tayla O'Brien (Lynn-Avon United), Nadia Pearl (Fresno University, USA), Katie Bowen (Glenfield Rovers), Evie Millyn (Eastern Suburbs), Olivia Chance (Claudelands Rovers), Rosie White (UCLA, USA)

Strikers: Stephanie Skilton (Glenfield Rovers), Georgia Brown (Three Kings United), Hannah Wilkinson (Glenfield Rovers), Katie Rood (Lincoln Ladies, ENG)

- APNZ

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