Nelson's Emily Jensen has been included in a Junior Football Ferns side filled with international experience and ready to ramp up their preparation next week ahead of the Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup in August with a two-match tour of Brazil.
The 18-player squad for the trip was named yesterday with coach Aaron McFarland calling on eight players, including Jensen and captain Katie Bowen, who have represented New Zealand recently at senior level.
McFarland's squad includes three players, Martine Puketapu, Daisy Cleverley and Isabella Coombes, who were key members of the Young Football Ferns side which competed at the Fifa U-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica in March.
The team also includes Australian-based 19-year-old Jessie Wharepouri, with the Adelaide United fullback included in a national representative side for the first time.
The Brazil trip serves as a key part of the Junior Football Ferns preparation ahead of the age-group World Cup in Canada in August where New Zealand has been drawn in Group D with France, Paraguay and Costa Rica.
The first match of the tour is on Thursday May 29 and the second on May 31 (NZ time).
THE SQUAD The Junior Football Ferns: Goalkeepers: Lily Alfeld (Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC), Corina Brown (Lynn-Avon Utd AFC). Defenders: Catherine Bott, Emily Jensen (Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC), Megan Lee (Louisiana State University, USA), Meikayla Moore (Coastal Spirit FC), Megan Robertson (Eastern Suburbs AFC), Jessie Wharepouri (Adelaide Utd). Midfielders: Katie Bowen (capt, University of North Carolina, USA), Daisy Cleverley (Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC), Isabella Coombes (Claudelands Rovers), Evie Millynn (San Diego State University, USA). Forwards: Holly Patterson (Dartmouth University, USA), Jasmine Pereira, Martine Puketapu (Three Kings Utd), Emma Rolston, Briar Palmer (Forrest Hill Milford Utd AFC), Stephanie Skilton (Syracuse University, USA).
- The Nelson Mail