Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková has named three new faces in her 24-player squad to take on World Cup 2023 quarter-finalists Colombia this December in Bogotá.
Receiving their debut call-ups are Wellington Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser, Sunderland midfielder Katie Kitching and Canberra United forward Ruby Nathan.
Both 21-year-old Fraser and 18-year-old Nathan were part of the New Zealand side at the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup in August 2022 and both made their A-League Women debuts this season.
Fraser caught the eye of Klimková after scoring two goals in her first five A-League matches, including a stunning free kick against Western United in round four.
Kitching has enjoyed a strong start to the English Women’s Championship season, with the 25-year-old scoring two goals and supplying two assists. The box-to-box midfielder has played in every game so far. Sunderland are second on the table.
Five players return to the side after not being part of the September 2023 fixtures: Wellington Phoenix’s Mackenzie Barry, Adelaide United’s Hannah Blake, H.B. 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,” says coach Klimková.
“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.”
The Football Ferns will play two matches against Colombia in Bogotá. The first match is on 10am December 3 (NZT), with the second international at 9am on December 6.
Football Ferns squad for Colombia tour
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) H.B. Køge, Denmark
Ava Collins (11 caps) St John’s University, USA
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, USA
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 Football Ferns call-up