Football: Daughter of All Blacks coach to lead U17 side

Michaela Foster, daughter of All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, will captain the New Zealand under-17 women's football side at the upcoming World Cup in Jordan. Photo / NZ Herald Mark Mitchell
Michaela Foster, daughter of All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, will captain the New Zealand under-17 women's football side at the upcoming World Cup in Jordan. Photo / NZ Herald Mark Mitchell

New Zealand women's under-17 captain Michaela Foster is proudly continuing the family name as she prepares to lead her side out at the Fifa U-17 World Cup in Jordan this month.

The left-back is the daughter of All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.

The talented youngster will look to create her own piece of history come September 30 as her side will look to firstly get past football giants Mexico and record only the second win for a New Zealand under-17 women's side competing at a World Cup.

Foster said her team's preparation could not have been better leading up to the tournament after games against Japan, Canada and China during a tour of China.

"Our tour to China really helped our preparation," said Foster. "We were able to experience some high-quality football, and it was needed. We were able to realise some our weaknesses we need to work on, which will be very helpful going into the World Cup."

Foster said the team's main aim for the World Cup in Jordan was to progress from their group and make history as the first New Zealand women's under-17 team to do so. They are also grouped with hosts Jordan and Spain and will need to finish in the top two of their pool to progress.

"We've been treating all of our warm-up matches as if we were playing at the World Cup, so it's important for us to get in that mindset, so we know how to prepare when the tournament starts."

Foster loves the challenge of leading her team and knows that if they are going to progress they have to deliver a team effort in all three of their matches.

"It's not just me helping the girls. We have a really good leadership team within the group so it takes a bit of pressure off me and makes my job easier. It's important for me to know each girls role in the squad so I can help with team morale, which will give me a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses."

Coach Gareth Turnbull said Foster is the perfect fit for the job.

"She's an incredibly intelligent player and, with that, she can see and read the game quite clearly," said Turnbull. "There is a real presence around Michaela, extremely well respected from the playing group and the staff. She has that real aura and mana about her and she is able to get the most out of the players, which is something that's rare. It's difficult to showcase those leadership skills at this age but out of anyone in the group she stood out the most."

- NZ Herald

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