Ferns fired up for next major hurdle

Last updated 05:00 18/08/2014

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Having made history once at the under-20 Women's World Cup in Canada, the Junior Football Ferns will set about repeating the dose in this morning's quarterfinal clash with Nigeria in Moncton.

After becoming the first New Zealand women's side to progress to the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament, victory will see Aaron McFarland's side become the first Kiwi team to win a second-round match at a Fifa event.

With the team's goal of reaching the semifinals at stake, McFarland says what they've achieved already has refreshed the group and renewed the focus to complete the next task.

"To be honest there was a bit of a burden lifted off the players. I think they felt the pressure going into that last game and you could see the relief when we scored the goals. This time we've got more of a focus and excitement around the challenge and not the outcome which is a great place to be.

"The players will be more focused on their roles and responsibilities and not so worried about the outcome and, as a result, the feeling in the camp is relaxed and you can feel a real buzz."

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- The Dominion Post

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