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Football Ferns to take on Japan

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Football Ferns will travel to host country Japan as they finalise their Olympic Games preparation.

The women’s national teams of Japan and New Zealand will meet in a friendly match on 11 April at Yurtec Stadium, Sendai during the FIFA international window.

The squad will have three days in camp together, including a behind-closed-doors training match on 9 April against opposition still to be confirmed.

Ranked tenth in the world and featuring star players such as Mana Iwabuchi and Yuika Sugasawa, 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions Japan offer a hit out against world-class opposition ahead of the Olympic tournament in July.

The tour is the latest to be added in a busy period of activity for the Football Ferns with the side playing 24 times between November of 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics.

With the men’s U-20 and U-23 sides featuring in a combined total of 23 matches since the back end of 2018, the Ferns and Oly Whites will have plenty of game time under their belts leading into the pinnacle provided by the Olympics.

"Playing Japan is the ideal Olympic build up, with the highest-quality opposition and world-class training facilities," Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni says.

"We’re at the pointy end of our preparation, so playing in the host country just before the tournament is a massive bonus," he adds.

"The plan is to work on the team’s cohesion, tactics and the best way for us to win games against the top teams. It’s a FIFA window so we should have everyone available, barring injury."

The women’s Olympic football tournament begins on 22 July.

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