Three Manawatu girls are on the path to the under-17 World Cup having been selected in the New Zealand secondary schools under-16 side.
Maia Green, Siobhan Patterson and Karin Ingram are in the under-16 side playing at the age-group Fiji Football Cup next week.
Coach Paul Temple has chosen a young side with an eye on the 2014 under-17 World Cup in Costa Rica, with all players in the team eligible for that tournament. He wants to give a young group experience at international level so they will be ready in two years.
Ingram and Green are St Peter's College students while Patterson goes to Palmerston North Palmerston North Girls' High School.
All 15, they were the only players from the Central region to be included in the side and are part of the National Talent Centre programme, which holds training camps during the year.
Patterson, Green and Ingram were in the Central women's team in the national league this year who just missed out on a spot in the semifinals while Patterson and Ingram were part of the Massey club side who won the Central League and lost the final of the national knockout competition.
The tournament in Fiji runs from December 10 to 14.
NZ secondary school under-16 team: Emily Hanrahan (Waikato), Sophie Stewart-Hobbs (Bay of Plenty), Lucy Stotter (Wellington), Roberta Wigelsworth (Waikato), Karin Ingram (Manawatu), Chloe Knott (Auckland) captain, Siobhan Patterson (Manawatu), Martine Puketapu (Auckland), Emma Cawte (Bay of Plenty), Kennedy Bryant (Wellington), Daisy Cleverley (Auckland), Maia Green (Manawatu), Tayla Christensen (Waikato), Emily Oosterhof (Auckland), Sammy Murrell (Dunedin), Whitney Hepburn (Christchurch), Hannah English (Dunedin), Geena Gross (Golden Bay).
- Manawatu Standard