Key Points:

New Zealand's foray on to the world stage continues at next month's women's World Cup in China. Hopes are high, reality probably a little different, but on one count there remains a genuine concern.

National teams at the men's under-17 and under-20 Fifa World Cups have struggled to score. The New Zealand women will be hard pressed to do better. Between them, the 21 players coach John Herdman is set to take away on September 5 have scored only 44 goals. They have, collectively, played 294 internationals.

Wendi Henderson, 36, leading the way with 55 caps, is the most experienced player and the only New Zealander to have ventured to two such tournaments, having played in the inaugural one in 1991.

At the other end of the experience stakes, almost half the squad have played 10 or fewer internationals. The average age is just 23.

At 16 years and 73 days on the day New Zealand play their tournament opener against Brazil in Wuhan, Auckland midfielder Annalie Longo will become one of the youngest players (male or female) to play in a World Cup.

That honour belongs to Nigerian Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine, who was a few days younger when she played at the 1999 cup.

Herdman refuses to use his players' lack of experience at senior level as an excuse.

"A lot of these players were involved in a quite intense under-20 World Cup [last year] and have grown into players with the ability to compete at this level. They might be young but they have ability and experience that belie their age.

"It is important for me as a coach to give young players a chance, so long as they take their opportunity. Over the last five months a number of these players we've looked at have put their hands up."

It will be no easy ride for the 23rd-ranked New Zealanders, who will jet away with a new look (a new Nike strip specially designed for women) and a yet-to-be-announced new name to be revealed at a function just hours before they leave.

Herdman will make a final call on his squad early next week after a fitness test. He has named US-based midfielder Simone Carmichael, 30 - who has scored seven goals in 18 appearances - subject to being cleared after an Achilles injury. Three Kings' Rebecca Sowden will get the call if Carmichael is not fit.

For Abby Erceg, Maia Jackman and Priscilla Duncan, there is a more pressing demand. They will join their Western Springs teammates in a home Women's Knockout Cup final at Seddon Fields this afternoon.

Pitted against surprise first-time finalists Glenfield Rovers, Western Springs, fifth in the northern premier league after a four win-eight loss record, will be all out to go one better than last season when they were beaten 3-0 by Lynn Avon United in the final.

As well as their three current internationals, Western Springs boast Nicky Smith and Rebecca O'Neill as former New Zealand players and have Danielle McFadyen, Rosie White and Annabelle Bramwell as one-time under-17 national representatives.

Glenfield, one place higher than Western Springs in the local league, do not have the same big-name players but take some confidence into the final after beating Western (Christchurch) 6-0 in the semifinals on the back of a Caitlin Campbell hat-trick.

New Zealand team

For Fifa Women's World Cup, China

Goalkeepers Jenny Bindon (Three Kings United), Rachel Howard (TSV Crailsheim, Germany), Stephanie Puckrin (Lynn Avon).

Defenders Hannah Bromley (FSA Soccerplus USA), Abby Erceg (Western Springs), Maia Jackman (Western Springs), Marlies Oostdam (Eastern Suburbs), Ria Percival (Lynn-Avon), Rebecca Smith captain (Sunnana SK, Sweden).

Midfielders Simone Carmichael (Ajax Women USA) or Rebecca Sowden (Three Kings), Priscilla Duncan (Western Springs), Katie Hoyle (Lynn-Avon), Emma Humphries (USA), Annalie Longo (Three Kings), Emily McColl (USA), Hayley Moorwood (Lynn Avon).

Strikers Wendi Henderson (Upper Hutt City), Ali Riley (Stanford University, USA), Merissa Smith (Three Kings), Rebecca Tegg (Eastern Suburbs), Zoe Thompson (Three Kings). NZ (ranked 23) matches September 12 v Brazil (8), Wuhan (9pm live SS3)

September 15 v Denmark (6), Wuhan (9pm live SS3)

September 19 v China 11), Tianjin (midnight live SS3)

Women's Knockout Cup final

Seddon Fields 2pm today

Referee: Leigh Perry

Likely starting line-ups

Western Springs: Danielle McFadyen, Poppy Binning, Maia Jackman, Abby Erceg, Jessie Verdon, Rebecca O'Neill, Priscilla Duncan, Chelsey Wood, Annabelle Bramwell, Nicky Smith, Rosie White.

Glenfield Rovers: Ashleigh Cox, Therese Saito, Rebecca Simpson, Michele Hogg, Alice Bresnahan, Caitlin Campbell, Bridgette Armstrong, Anna Barlow, Cath Porteous, Lisa Kemp, Alison Wintle.