Upcoming Football Ferns fixtures causes a major headache for A-League Women coaches

-

New Zealand are set to play the United States in two friendlies later this month, but they are outside a FIFA international window, meaning teams have the option whether or not to release their players.

Embed from Getty Images

Welling Phoenix coach Natalie Lawrence and Western Sydney Wanderers coach Kat Smith had different thoughts on what decision to make, mostly due to the club’s different circumstances.

As the only New Zealand-based A-League Women side, Natalie Lawrence’s team could have a large chunk of her squad selected in these fixtures, which leave the Phoenix vulnerable.

“It’s like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. There are lots of pieces we are trying to fit together so that the club isn’t compromised”, Lawrence said.

online pharmacy royalcitydrugs.com no prescription pharmacy

“But also the girls really want to be of these international games. It is such a huge year for them playing in a home World Cup”, she added.

Embed from Getty Images

It is a balancing act that most A-League Women clubs have had to decide on, but Lawrence believes you couldn’t stop a player representing their country, even if it impacts the Phoenix.

“A lot of A-League Women clubs have decided to not release their player and that’s their prerogative. But I think it’s a shame that players are being stopped from representing their country”, Lawrence said.

Wanderers coach Kat Smith had different thoughts on the matter, but that is due to their differing circumstances to the Phoenix.

Her side only has one New Zealander, star midfielder Malia Steinmetz. Smith didn’t know if the team could survive without Steinmetz, who has played in every game this season.

Embed from Getty Images

“In terms of squad depth, we may struggle losing Malia. Every player wants to represent their country but clubs have different stances on releasing players outside international windows,” Smith said.

Having the fixtures outside an international window would have been hard normally, but the Wanderers having six games in a month makes it even worse.

Embed from Getty Images

Phoenix coach Lawrence said she could sympathise with other teams due to it being outside the window and it’s been difficult dealing with it.

“It is in a non-FIFA window though so I can see why clubs are refusing. This would have been something we would have not liked to have dealt with but we are content with our decision,” Lawrence said.

The Football Ferns play the United States in two friendlies at the end of the month, with the squad expected to be announced by the end of the week.

Embed from Getty Images

Feature Image Credit: Photomac

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Joshua Dean
Joshua Dean
Aspiring sports journalist! I love sports and enjoy writing, so added my two hobbies together! Studying Journalism at Massey University, Wellington.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required