Two Northland goal merchants are in Thailand preparing for a pair of fixtures with the Football Ferns.

Hannah Wilkinson and Katie Rood, former Kamo High School teammates, are part of a fresh-looking team in the wake of former coach Tony Readings' resignation.

Wilkinson is one of the more experienced heads in the side, armed with 83 caps and 25 goals, while Juventus Women signing Rood will look to add to her solitary international game.

Stand-in coaches Andreas Heraf and Gareth Turnbull have stuck with an experienced core but also taken the opportunity to throw some new names into the mix with four debutants named.


Rood is one of 12 players in the side with less than 10 games in the Football Ferns jersey, meaning the tour will be used to gain valuable experience as they look ahead to

Katie Rood has been plying her trade with Juventus Women in Italy. Photo /
Katie Rood has been plying her trade with Juventus Women in Italy. Photo /

Heraf will lead the team with national under-20 women's coach Turnbull and is pleased with the squad that has been brought together.

"I have a good feeling about it and we have a good balance in the squad," he said.

"There are a lot of experienced players and a few younger ones. Those new ones will get the experience and feeling of being with the Ferns so it will be exciting for everybody."

With the Austrian having only recently arrived in the country, the knowledge of Turnbull has been crucial in the talent identification process but Heraf has seen many of the players in action himself.

"Myself and Gareth are a really good team and have worked together for the last month," he said.

"Of course, he knows the players much better than me but in the last three months since I've come to New Zealand I've seen a lot of players and have been with the Ferns in the USA.

"I have seen a lot of footage so I'm quite happy and confident with the players. We know all the players and how we want to play so it will be exciting to work together with Gareth in Thailand."

The Football Ferns' most recent bout of action came with a two-match tour of the United States which brought a pair of defeats against the world's best side.

Football Ferns squad: Hannah Wilkinson, Katie Rood, Hannah Blake, Amber Hearn, Aimee Phillips, Stephanie Skilton, Katie Bowen, Olivia Chance, Betsy Hassett, Grace Jale, Maggie Jenkins, Annalie Longo, Elise Mamanu-Gray, Jana Radosavljevic, CJ Bott, Anna Green, Meikayla Moore, Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Rebekah Stott, Victoria Esson, Anna Leat, Erin Nayler.