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New Zealand Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

The final roster for New Zealand going to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup was declared in June. Check out here the full squad and fixtures.

MB
Last updated: 08.07.2023
New Zealand Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

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Co-hosts New Zealand will like to get their first-ever win in the Women’s World Cup in their own backyard with the tournament kicking off on 20th July 2023. The initial list of 33 players was cut down to 23 as players get ready to be part of a historical event. The nation will share the iconic stage of now 32 teams for the first time with fellow nation Australia. The 26th-ranked nation will hope to shake away their poor form to hold their fort under the tutorship of Jitka Klimkova.

               

History

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This will be the sixth appearance for New Zealand at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and for the fifth time consecutively. The Black Ferns, as they are called, have not managed a win at this stage despite appearing for so many editions. They have also failed to move into the knockout stages in the tournament history. Only three of the 15 matches played have ended in a draw. New Zealand have managed eight goals but at the same time conceded 34.  Hannah Wilkinson is the only player to have scored a goal in two different editions.      

 

Previous Tournament

New Zealand lost all the games in the group stages of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France to bow out early. They gave eventual finalists Netherlands a run for their money in the group opener almost stunning them but conceded a late 1-0 defeat. Their motivation got hit as they failed to keep up the same intensity in the 2-0 loss to Canada in the next match. New Zealand also lost to Cameroon in the final match in the direct battle for the third place in the group which could have given them a chance for the knockouts.

 

Preparation for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Being the co-host of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, New Zealand earned automatic qualification and did not had to compete in the qualifiers for the event. Hence, the Black Ferns got plenty of time to expose themselves to more preparatory games for being in the best shape ahead of the tournament. Although only two wins in 14 such matches in a year and none in 2023 is not encouraging for the side carrying the pressure of playing at home. They are carrying a 10-game winless streak to the tournament having lost all but two against nations in this edition of the Women’s World Cup.             


New Zealand Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023


Goalkeepers: Victoria Esson (Rangers), Anna Leat (Aston Villa), Erin Nayler (IFK Norrkoping).

Defenders: Elizabeth Anton (Perth Glory), Catherine Bott (Leicester City), Katie Bowen (Melbourne City), Claudia Bunge (Melbourne City), Michaela Foster (Wellington Phoenix), Ali Riley (Angel City FC), Rebekah Stott (Brighton).                

Midfielders: Olivia Chance (Celtic), Daisy Cleverley (Koge), Betsy Hassett (Wellington Phoenix), Annalie Longo, Ria Percival (Tottenham Hotspurs), Malia Steinmetz (Western Sydney Wanderers).

Forwards: Milly Clegg (Wellington Phoenix), Jacqui Hand (Alland United), Grace Jale, Gabi Rennie (Arizona State Sun Devils), Indiah-Paige Riley (Brisbane Roar), Paige Satchell (Wellington Phoenix), Hannah Wilkinson (Melbourne City).

 

Head Coach: Jitka Klimkova

 

The sole surprising omission from the squad is Meikayla Moore who is on the standby list for any injuries rather than in the main team. The Glasgow City defender has been a starter for the Black Ferns recently and also made the 2015 Women’s World Cup squad without playing a minute. She missed the previous one through injury. So, the 27-year-old will have to wait for four more years to make her competition debut if in contention. Midfielders Ria Percival and Annalie Longo both overcame long-term injuries to make the squad.  Milly Clegg is the youngest member chosen at the age of 17. There are 10 players in the squad making their debut in the tournament.


Strength

Playing at home always gives an advantage and hosting a major competition brings a different motivation inside players. All of the previous hosts in the tournament history have at least made it out of the group stages. While something similar is not expected of New Zealand, Klimkova’s side will be more fearless having nothing to lose from the games. Despite being new, the squad do have tournament experience with the likes of Catherine Bott and with most playing trade in A-League and abroad which will help to feel the competitive sense.        

 

Weakness

With no wins at the main stage and carrying poor form to the tournament, New Zealand is carrying no momentum ahead of the tournament. They also have a difficult group to manage with top-quality sides like Norway and Canada even if the Philippines can be an easy pass on paper. Concerns over heavy defeats remain even in a highly supportive environment so the team cannot have any margin for error.  


Key Player: Catherine Bott



After breaking the chain of repeated injuries recently, Catherine Bott has properly instigated herself to the squad looking at her to make a difference. The Leicester City right-back's precision in her role will make her the standout player. Excellent in both attack and defence, Bott will be the outlet for New Zealand to push up when required while she will stop the opposition’s flurry from her flank. The 28-year-old ranked second in the WSL for successful tackles per 90 and made a total of 30 interceptions. Her speed and aggression are other notable attributes of her game. She will make sure that nothing gets past her to ensure security for the defence.          


How will New Zealand Lineup at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?

 

 

New Zealand’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Groups & Fixtures

 

Group A  

New Zealand

Norway

Philippines

Switzerland

 

Fixtures

Thursday, 20 July 2023 

New Zealand vs Norway - Eden Park, Auckland (12:30)

Tuesday, 25 July 2023

New Zealand vs Philippines - Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington (11:00)

Sunday, 30 July 2023

Switzerland vs New Zealand - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin (12:30)


Prediction


New Zealand could not have been forced into a more difficult group with former winners Norway and another European counterpart Switzerland being too big of a challenge for them. The only win could come against debutants Philippines which will be a celebratory occasion itself but won’t help them advance into the competition. They will want to enjoy the tournament playing in front of their friends and families and not worry too much about the outcome. 


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