Former Football Ferns star ready to return New Zealand training squad: Lily Alfeld, Elizabeth Anton, Jane Barnett, Hannah Blake, Katie Bowen, Claudia Bunge, Daisy Cleverley, Katie Duncan, Victoria Esson, Anna Green, Sarah Gregorius, Tiana Hill, Maggie Jen
Vastly experienced former Football Ferns midfielder Katie Duncan has come out of international retirement five months out from the Women’s World Cup.
The 30-year-old, who played 119 times for New Zealand before retiring from the international game in 2016, is one of 28 domestic-based players selected for a training camp in Auckland later this week.
Duncan was praised for calling out former coach Andreas Heraf and urging him to resign in the wake of New Zealand’s 3-1 loss to Japan last year.
The Onehunga Sports playercoach said she was ‘‘furious’’ with Heraf’s ultra-defensive tactics and even more so with the ‘‘disrespectful’’ comments he made in the post-match press conference, where he conceded New Zealand could never compete with a team of that calibre.
Duncan will be looking to play her way into new coach Tom Sermanni’s plans ahead next month’s Cup of Nations, where New Zealand will meet hosts Australia, Argentina and Korea Republic as they continue their preparation for the World Cup, which takes place in June and July.
Senior players Katie Bowen, Annalie Longo, Sarah Gregorius and Anna Green will be in attendance, while at the other end of the spectrum, three members of the team who made history by finishing third at the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay last year have also been selected.
Those three players are Anna Leat, Gabi Rennie and Maggie Jenkins.
Another interesting inclusion is that of Emma Kete, who last played for the Football Ferns in 2012.
Although there is hope that Abby Erceg will follow Duncan out of international retirement, the North Carolina Courage star and former New Zealand captain was not among the 28 players selected for this week’s camp.
At a glance