Football Ferns prepare for Aussie tests
Sat, 23 Jun 2012 1:37a.m.
Football Ferns’ coach Tony Readings wants to test the depth of his squad when his side take on Australia in the first of two Olympic warm-up matches in Wollongong on Sunday.
New Zealand have lost Sweden-based professionals Ali Riley and Kirsty Yallop, who have returned to Europe for club duty, but Readings says he intended to look deeper into his squad during this series anyway.
"It'll take a whole squad to win a medal in London," Readings says.
"There's six games in 16 days, and it's a question of when, not if, players will be called on. Everyone will need to be ready."
It's been 18 years since New Zealand beat the world No.10 Australia, and they haven't won on Australian soil in 21 years.
But Readings says ending a 12-match losing streak against China last week with consecutive victories in Auckland has given the London-bound Ferns a spring in their step.
"We are serious about becoming a team that is capable of winning six games at the Games and winning a gold medal.
"Earning back-to-back wins over China, and needing to draw on different qualities to achieve the wins over a nation we'd never beaten, were important steps in that process."
Riley's absence should see Germany-based fullback Anna Green enjoy more game time while Annalie Longo and Betsy Hassett appear the front runners to fill Yallop's boots in midfield after being used off the bench against China.
Readings is expecting a physical approach from the Australians, but is backing his team's new possession-based style of play to reap rewards.
"We're adopting a style that gives us more opportunities to win matches against a variety of teams and the long-term payoff will be worth it."
The second match is on Wednesday.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
All the action and head-to-head match ups as we preview Roun...
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf was withdrawn from the Champions ...
Former captain Daniel Vettori has ruled himself out of the s...
Matt Elliott accepts the buck stops with him as coach in the...
They've been bashed from pillar to post both on and off the ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.