The New Zealanders are another team that have been improving, building a solid series of performances under coach John Herdman since China 2007. Now undisputed queens of Oceania since Australia’s move to Asia, the Kiwis have enjoyed more regular competition on the world stage in recent years, seemingly progressing with each outing. Now with four professional players amid their ranks plus a smattering of talented youngsters, the Kiwis will provide a stern test for any opponent as they seek to gain their first win at this level.
The road to Germany
New Zealand had little trouble qualifying for Germany scoring five wins without conceding a goal in the process. A remarkable 11-0 win in the final against Papua New Guinea was perhaps indicative of the progress the Kiwis have made in recent years, following on from a two-goal winning margin against the same opponent in reaching Beijing 2008.
The star players
Skipper and midfielder Hayley Moorwood is amongst the most experienced squad members, having accrued over 50 caps, only the fourth New Zealander to achieve such a feat. With experience from China 2007 and Beijing 2008, as well as club stints in Canada (Ottawa Fury) and England (Chelsea), Moorwood’s influence amid a youthful squad will be crucial. USA-based Ali Riley is a notable name in defence having been named 2010 WPS rookie of the year following her performances in FC Gold Pride’s championship-winning season. In attack, teenage striker Rosie White has shown consistent form ever since the 2009 OFC Oceania player of the Year bagged two hat-tricks at the youth World Cups in 2008.
English-born John Herdman arrived in New Zealand in 2003 and immediately worked with elite women players, also taking the role of Coach Development Manager for New Zealand Football. He led the Junior Football Ferns to the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, before assuming the senior role in early 2007. Herdman has built upon a solid foundation to form a highly competitive team since China 2007.
Previous FIFA Women’s World Cups