Football: New Zealand rookie trio out to make most of chance to impress against world champions USA

Three players from the local National League are relishing the chance of potential Football Ferns debuts, and to square off against the powerhouse of women's football.

New Zealand's matches against the USA fall outside of an official FIFA window, meaning some Football Ferns haven't been released by their clubs.

But that's brought a new group of players into the squad who hope to capitalise on a rare opportunity.

For Deven Jackson, Tayla O'Brien and Rebecca Lake, the call-up to the Football Ferns squad came as quite a surprise.

"It was the last thing I expected," O'Brien told Newshub. "But again, [I'm] so, so grateful to get that communication from Jitka [Klimkova]." 

"Honestly, it was a massive shock," added Lake.

Just a month ago, Jackson and O'Brien were leading Eastern Suburbs to victory in the National League.

On Thursday they were taking part in their first training as Football Ferns. 

"I've dreamt of this as a kid," said Jackson. "It's really exciting to be in the team.

"Some of the players I've watched, so it's cool to be right there alongside them."

With next week's matches against the USA falling outside an official window, some of the Ferns' big names weren't released by their clubs.

And the trio of National League graduates are determined to seize the opportunity.

"I actually took a break from football," continued Jackson. "So to come back and have such a successful year, and now this is really exciting.

"It shows to other domestic players that there are opportunities when you perform, regardless of what league you're in."

But they'll face a drastic step up in competition when they face the world champions on Wednesday. 

And while the challenge will be tough, it's one the rookies can't wait to sink their teeth into.

"Amazing to verse [sic] the world champs, like who would have thought?" asked O'Brien.

"[It's a] unique opportunity, something that's going to be very challenging," added Jackson. "But also, I think something that's going to be exciting, and we've got nothing to lose really."

The Football Ferns will hope that fearless mentality can help them put up a good fight against the US.