Two Liberty A-League young guns called up by Football Ferns for first time

Join Niav Owens, Teo Pellizzeri, Alicia Ferguson and Teresa Polias for Dub Zone, unpacking all the biggest talking points from an action-packed Round 5 in the Liberty A-League.

Macey Fraser and Ruby Nathan have earned their first New Zealand call-ups and they are among nine Liberty A-League-based players in the Football Ferns squad.

The Football Ferns are set to face Colombia in South America next month (December 3 and December 6 AEDT), with Wellington Phoenix midfielder Fraser and Canberra United forward Nathan in line to make their international debuts.

Fraser has been rewarded for her red-hot start to her debut Liberty A-League season, with the 21-year-old earning plaudits for her performances and stunning free-kick against Western United in Round 4.

She is one of five Wellington players in the 24-player squad, along with Mackenzie Barry, Brianna Edwards, Kate Taylor and Michaela Foster.

Canberra’s Nathan – who also represented New Zealand at the 2022 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup alongside Fraser – has also made her A-League Women debut this season.

Adelaide United’s Hannah Blake – a goalscorer against Sydney FC on Sunday – is back in the squad after she was not part of the September fixtures, while Melbourne City’s Rebekah Stott and Perth Glory attacker Grace Jale have also been selected.

“After a historic and special 2023 our focus now switches to the next cycle and putting the team in the best possible position to qualify for the Olympics” said head coach Jitka Klimkova.

“It is exciting to bring in three new players, as well as welcome back a number of Ferns, all of whom have earned their place in the squad based on their strong performances for their clubs. 

“The games against Colombia will be a good test for us. I want our players to be exposed to the challenge of playing a South American style of play, which will help us grow as a team.”

“We showed the potential we have as a side during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and now we need to be delivering performances like that consistently.”

Match details
Colombia v New Zealand
Kick-off: 4:00pm December 2 (local) / 10:00am December 3 (NZT)
Venue: Estadio El Campin, Bogota

Match details
Colombia v New Zealand
Kick-off: 3:00pm December 5 (local) / 9:00am December 6 (NZT)
Venue: Estadio Metropolitano de Techo, Bogota

New Zealand squad

Mackenzie Barry (7 caps) Wellington Phoenix
Hannah Blake (6 caps) Adelaide United
Katie Bowen (98 caps) Inter Milan
Daisy Cleverley (31 caps) HB Koge
Ava Collins (11 caps) St John’s University
Brianna Edwards (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix
Victoria Esson (20 caps) Rangers
Michaela Foster (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix
Macey Fraser (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix
Ally Green (5 caps) AGF
Jacqui Hand (17 caps) Aland United
Betsy Hassett (150 caps) Stjarnan FC
Grace Jale (21 caps) Perth Glory
Katie Kitching* (0 caps) Sunderland
Anna Leat (11 caps) Aston Villa
Meikayla Moore (63 caps) Glasgow City
Ruby Nathan (0 caps) Canberra United
Grace Neville (6 caps) London City Lionesses
Ali Riley (159 caps) Angel City
Indiah-Paige Riley (14 caps) PSV Vrouwen
Paige Satchell (46 caps) London City Lionesses
Malia Steinmetz (25 caps) FC Nordsjælland
Rebekah Stott (95 caps) Melbourne City
Kate Taylor (10 caps) Wellington Phoenix