Abby Erceg is about to return, yet again, to the Football Ferns.

The former captain has made herself available for the Ferns, coming out of her second self imposed retirement.

Erceg is a certainty to be picked for the upcoming Women's World Cup in France, which will be her fourth appearance at Fifa's showpiece female event.

Erceg first retired in 2017, partly as a protest about the conditions that young female players in the Ferns environment had to work under.


She announced her exit on social media and said at the time that she hoped to take a stand for future generations.

Last February Erceg returned to the fold, after a series of meetings with then Ferns coach Andreas Heraf.

She was part of the squad that played Scotland in Spain in March 2018 but that tour was not a happy one, with issues off the field between Heraf and a number of players.

The 29-year-old Erceg retired again in May last year, a few weeks before the ill-fated friendly with Japan in Wellington, citing differences of opinion with Heraf.

Heraf's resignation in July — following the letters written by eleven members of the Ferns squad saying they would not play again for New Zealand under him — seemed to clear the path for Erceg's possible comeback.

At the time of his appointment Ferns coach Tom Sermanni indicated he was open to Erceg's return and that has been confirmed today.

"Abby is a world-class and highly experienced international player," said Sermanni. "To have someone of her ability make herself available for the program as we build to the World Cup is a huge boost for everyone."

The North Carolina Courage defender has played 132 A Internationals for New Zealand since making her debut in 2006.


Erceg has competed at three Olympic Games and three FIFA Women's World Cups and captained the Ferns from 2014 – 17.

The Ferns have been drawn in Group E for the FIFA Women's World Cup where they will face Canada, Cameroon and the Netherlands.

Erceg will be available for the Ferns' first international friendlies of 2019 as they prepare for World Cup.

The World No 19 Ferns will compete in the inaugural Cup of Nations against fellow World Cup contestants Australia, Argentina and Korea Republic from 28 February to 6 March.

The OFC Nations Cup Champions will also play the World No 1 and defending World Cup Champions USA on 19 May in St Louis.

The Ferns squad for the Cup of Nations in Australia in February and March will be named next week.

The Football Ferns squad for the Cup of Nations in Australia in February and March will be named next week.