Football Ferns: Veteran Katie Duncan out of retirement for World Cup bid

Duncan has earned 110 international caps for 110.
Duncan has earned 110 international caps for 110. Photo credit: Photosport

Katie Duncan has confirmed she's officially out of retirement and back in the frame for Football Ferns selection.

The veteran midfielder was a vocal critic of former coach Andreas Heraf, after his controversial comments in the wake of a Football Ferns loss to Japan.

With the Austrian ousted in favour of new coach Tom Sermanni late last year, Duncan swiftly returned to training with an eye to the Women's World Cup in June.

"He got selected on the Friday, I discussed it over the weekend with my wife and started training on the Monday pretty much," Duncan told Stuff. "That's how my mind worked.

"Having Tom on board, that was a massive drawcard for me. He's got a lot of experience, particularly in the women's game, and I still feel like I have more gas in the tank and I have more to give to the team."

Sermanni has proven a popular figure since his arrival in October 2018 and the team's strong run of recent results is testament to his immediate impact.

"He's a great guy and he's a great coach," Duncan told Stuff. "I met up with him maybe a week after he had been selected and I told him I was keen to come back into the environment.

"He nodded way and told me that the priority is that the girls qualify. He hadn't yet seen the girls play and he couldn't give me an answer.

"Tom, he's just an honest coach and you just respect the guy when the coach is like that. You can tell that there's no hierarchy and he won't pick his favourites.

"He'll pick the players who are training the best and playing the best."

Duncan will be a part of a training camp in Auckland this week, where her first goal will be to earn a spot in the squad for next month's Cup of Nations.

"Just because I'm coming out of retirement doesn't mean I'm automatically getting back in. I know I have to work hard to hopefully be selected.

"Every pinnacle event with the Football Ferns is an honour and it'd be great to get another one under my belt."

But there's still no sign of US-based star Abby Erceg, who hasn't been named as part of the 28-player group.

New Zealand training squad: Lily Alfeld, Elizabeth Anton, Jane Barnett, Hannah Blake, Katie Bowen, Claudia Bunge, Daisy Cleverley, Katie Duncan, Victoria Esson, Anna Green, Sarah Gregorius, Tiana Hill, Maggie Jenkins, Emily Jensen, Emma Kete, Anna Leat, Annalie Longo, Sarah Morton, Nadia Olla, Aimee Phillips, Gabi Rennie, Michaela Robertson, Paige Satchell, Stephanie Skilton, Malia Steinmetz, Nicole Stratford, Bel Van Noorden, Saskia Vosper.

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