Football World Cup: Tense times for Football Ferns, as selection deadline looms

Members of the Football Ferns wider training squad have had an anxious few days, as they wait to learn if they'll get a chance to play in a home World Cup.

The squad will be revealed publicly on Friday, meaning this week has been the last chance to secure a spot.

Anxious, on edge, restless... Football Ferns defender Meikayla Moore best sums up the feeling of the camp.

"The challenging for spots has definitely been there over recent months and nobody's spot is safe," she told Newshub.

The tension has been palpable at training, as players look ahead to the big reveal.

"Absolutely there's nerves about," said Moore. "There's apprehension - it's a big deal."

Only 23 will get the nod and the squad could include a big contingent of younger players.

Nearly half the players involved in the NZ training camps in New Zealand are under 25 and they've pushed hard.

"The young ones have really done well and they have stepped up," said veteran midfielder Ria Percival, 33, with 160 caps for New Zealand since her 2006 debut.

Coach Jitka Klimkova at Football Ferns training
Coach Jitka Klimkova at Football Ferns training. Photo credit: Photosport

They've stepped up over nine weeks - an intense training block that's helped coach Jitka Klimkova find "players who are competitive enough to actually compete for a starting position".

She needs a core group that can help get the Ferns out of their World Cup group, so youth needs to mix with experience. The coach believes she's struck the right note.

"I'm very happy we have that kind of balance in the team," she told Newshub. 

Ten players will miss out, but 23 go on for the rarest of opportunities to compete in a World Cup on home soil.

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