Football: Football Ferns spoilt for choice for World Cup selection

Following on from New Zealand Football's dramas with Andreas Heraf, Australia have now sacked their women's coach over an 'unsatisfactory' team environment.

Alen Stajcic's departure highlights the difference Tom Sermanni's made here since taking charge of the Football Ferns.

A difference that has them better prepared than ever before for June's World Cup.

Fern's forward Emma Kete's watched the football ferns from afar for the past four years.

But after Tom Sermanni was named head coach in October she immediately wanted to be a part of it again.

"I just flicked him an email and said congratulations and was hoping he'd kind of pry and see what I'm up to," Kete said.

She was one of three high-profile players to come out of retirement under the new regime.

It means Sermanni will be spoilt for choice when selecting his World Cup squad.

"I think I'm in my honeymoon period at the moment it's not always like that," he said.

But the 64-year-olds reputation goes further than just enticing players to take to the field again for New Zealand.

Players say he's helped change the culture of the football ferns.

"I think tom really ads a calming presence and that really allows to relax and be ourselves and I think that's what we've needed," Kete said.

Sermanni's also used his contacts to secure matches against the USA in May and a three-team tournament in Australia next month.

"It probably helps when you've been around as long as I have and as grey as me that you know people so that just makes the connections a little easier," he said.

The Sermanni effect means New Zealand's likely to send its most experienced squad ever to a world cup and quite possibly one of the best prepared.

The result they really want though is a maiden win at the FIFA tournament.