New Zealand Football:
New Zealand U-17 Women’s Head Coach Leon Birnie has named a balanced squad for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay next month.
The 21-player squad includes Football Ferns goalkeeper Anna Leat and three other players in Gabrielle Rennie, Aneka Mittendorf and Maggie Jenkins who represented New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in August.
Birnie believes his squad will be well prepared to handle the challenge of Finland, hosts Uruguay and Ghana in the tournament that will be staged in three host cities from 13 November to 1 December.
“We have had some really honest conversations with the group about what we want to achieve in this cycle,” said Birnie. “When we get over to the World Cup we want to win at least one game and with the draw that we have been given are looking to progress out of the group stage, we think that is a real possibility.
“We are looking to create a bit of history and that is what we are focused on achieving. Once we have got out of the group, we will look to take it one game at a time in the quarterfinals and beyond, hopefully.”
The Auckland students named in the squad are:
Britney Cunningham-Lee, Waiuku College
Margaret Jenkins, Epsom Girls Grammar School
Anna Leat, Rangitoto College
Rose Luxton, St Cuthbert’s College
Hannah Mackay-Wright, Rangitoto College
Arabella Maynard, Takapuna Grammar School
Aneka Mittendorff, Westlake Girls High School
Ayla Pratt, Saint Kentigern College
Genevieve Ryan, Mt Albert Grammar School
Laney Strachan, Epsom Girls Grammar School