Team profile: New Zealand takes an in depth look at coach John Herdman 's New Zealand side that will compete at this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.
New Zealand celebrate after winning the 2010 OFC Women's Nations Cup final against Papua New Guinea. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)


Coach: John Herdman is faced with the unenviable task of transforming New Zealand into a competitive team in Germany. The Englishman, who moved to New Zealand in 2002, took the Ferns to the 2007 World Cup at short notice and the Beijing Olympics in 2008 where they tied Japan and lost narrowly to Norway. Herdman's roster is among the youngest in Germany but "that can't be an excuse," he insists. Despite their inexperience, Herdman describes his team as "committed, passionate and aggressive."

Goalkeepers: Jenny Bindon, Aroon Clansey, Erin Nayler

Defenders: Katie Bowen, Abby Erceg, Anna Green, Kristy Hill, Ria Percival, Ali Riley, Rebecca Smith

Midfielders: Betsy Hassett, Katie Hoyle, Annalie Longo, Hayley Moorwood, Kirsty Yallop

Forwards: Sarah Gregorius, Amber Hearn, Emma Kete, Sarah McLaughlin, Rosie White, Hannah Wilkinson


  • June 27 — vs. Japan in Bochum
  • July 1 — vs. England in Dresden
  • July 5 — vs. Mexico in Sinsheim


Strengths: Though they were hardly tested in qualifying, New Zealand has to feel confident after going undefeated (and outscoring their opponents 50-0) during the Oceania championship… As one of the tournament underdogs, New Zealand won't be burdened by expectations - all the pressure will be on their opponents… The Kiwis have several players who can score, including Amber Hearn, Sarah Gregorius, Rosie White and Hannah Wilkinson.

Weaknesses: New Zealand has a young roster, filled with players lacking international experience... The Kiwis have several players playing at club level in Europe and the U.S., but a lack of depth of quality talent is a real concern… New Zealand is in a tough group with Japan, England and Mexico, making their passage to the quarter-finals all the more difficult.

Player to watch: Hayley Moorwood — Moorwood is a solid box-to-box midfielder, noted for her athleticism on the field. As New Zealand's captain and one of the team's few players who earn a living playing in Europe, she provides invaluable leadership on a young Kiwi side that lacks experience.

Prospects in Germany: Not surprisingly, they are not encouraging. Despite advances in the development and organization of women's football in New Zealand, it is tough to see them advancing from Group B. There are a number of players performing at a higher club level including defender Rebecca Smith, fullback Ali Riley and midfielder Hayley Moorwood but youth and inexperience is often exposed at this level. The Ferns are trying to emulate the performances of their male counterparts at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 

  • Soccer Confederation: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)
  • Current FIFA world ranking: 24
  • Team nickname: Football Ferns
  • Team colours: white jerseys/white shorts


2011 qualification route: New Zealand's Football Ferns dominated the Oceania qualifying section winning the 2010 OFC Women's Championship for the fourth time. The Ferns won all five matches, scoring an incredible 50 goals and posting five straight shutouts. Amber Hearn scored 12 goals but only one in the Final as New Zealand trounced Papua New Guinea 11-0. 

  • Qualification record: 5 wins, 0 losses
  • Goals for: 50
  • Goals against: 0
  • Top goal-scorer in qualifying: Amber Hearn (12)


  • Sept. 29, 2010 — New Zealand 14, Vanuatu 0
  • Oct. 1, 2010 — New Zealand 10, Cook Islands 0
  • Oct. 3, 2010 — New Zealand 7, Tahiti 0
  • Oct. 6 2010 — New Zealand 8, Solomon Islands 0
  • Oct. 8, 2010 — New Zealand 11, Papa New Guinea 0


New Zealand will be making its third World Cup appearance in Germany. At the 1991 inaugural World Cup in China, New Zealand lost all three of its first-round games to Denmark (3-0), Norway (4-0) and China (4-1). The Football Ferns qualified a second time, in 2007, but again lost all three of their first-round matches by a combined score of 9-0.

  • Hosted the Women's World Cup: Never
  • Number of previous Women's World Cup appearances: 2
  • All-time record: 0 wins, 6 losses, 0 ties
  • Goals for: 1
  • Goals against: 20
  • All-time top scorer: Kim Barbara Nye (1)


  • 1991 — First round
  • 1995 — Did not qualify
  • 1999 — Did not qualify
  • 2003 — Did not qualify
  • 2007 — First round