Former Ferns star out of retirement
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 domesticbased players selected for a training camp in Auckland later this week.
Another interesting inclusion is that of Emma Kete, who last played for the Football Ferns in 2012 and has spent some time away from the sport.
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.
She said she was ‘‘furious’’ with his ultradefensive 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.
‘‘We’re fighters, we’ve got spirit and we’ve got mana. To have that reduced, as you can tell it infuriates me and makes me angry and sad and a lot of mixed emotions because I know it’s not about me, it’s about those poor girls who are in the team at the moment.’’
Duncan and the other 27 players invited to the training camp will be looking to play their 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 Football Ferns 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. They are Anna Leat, Gabi Rennie and Maggie Jenkins.
Although there is hope that Abby Erceg will also come out of international retirement ahead of the World Cup, the North Carolina Courage star and former New Zealand captain was not among the 28 players selected for the camp.
New Zealand training squad: Lily Alfeld, Elizabeth Anton, Jane Barnett, Hannah Blake, Katie Bowen, Claudia Bunge, Daisy Cleverley, Katie Duncan, Victoria Esson, Anna Gree, Sarah Gregorius, Tiana Hill, Grace Jale, Maggie Jenkins, Emily Jensen, Emma Kete, Anna Leat, Annalie Longo, Sarah Morton, Nadia Olla, Aimee Phillips, Gabi Rennie, Michaela Robertson, Paige Satchell, Stephanie Skilton, Malia Steinmetz, Nicole Stratford, Bel Van Noorden, Saskia Vosper.
Former Football Ferns midfielder Katie Duncan is one 28 domestic-based players selected for a training camp in Auckland later this week.