The Whanganui girls will don the Central Football Federation strip to play at the M Sports Cup in Sydney next week.

Whanganui High School student Stella Warner (14), Whanganui City College 13-year-old Shakaia Taioroa and Lana O'Connor (12) from Westmere School made the under-13 side to play five games over four days.

The Central Federation team will battle it out with the Blacktown Spartans, Sydney University, Newcastle Jets, Illawara Stingrays and Manly United for top honours.

Whanganui Central Football game development officer Matthew Calvert will be joined by his Hawke's Bay counterpart Aleesha Heywood to help chaperone the team. A boys team will also make the trip, although that side does not feature any players from Whanganui.


Warner will be making her second trip to the Sydney competition after representing Central last season, while Taioroa and O'Connor will debut.

Central Federation New Zealand scored in extra-time to beat Emerging Jets 1-0 in the girls' 5th/6th play-off last year. In the boy's division the 5th/6th play-off finished 2-0 for Northern Federation NZ over Central.

Warner is a forward for her WHS side, while Taioroa is goalie and O'Connor left wing for Whanganui United. However, all three are Whanganui age group reps and gained selection for the touring Central side with their performances at regional Federation Talent Centre trials.

They fly out Sunday and return home on Friday.

The M Sports Cup (MSC) in Sydney, Australia is a global football tournament for talented boys and girls born in 2002-2007. Teams from across the globe have been invited to the 2018 event.

The successful 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 tournaments were attended by New Zealand Football Federations and Australian National Premier League clubs. The tournament is hosted at Valentine Sports Park, Sydney, home of Football New South Wales.