Football: Three debutants named among NZ women for two-game series against Colombia

Macey Fraser and Ruby Nathan.
Macey Fraser and Ruby Nathan. Photo credit: Photosport

Former U20 stars Macey Fraser and Ruby Nathan have been promoted to possible Football Ferns debuts in the upcoming two-game series against Colombia.

Midfielder Katie Kitching has also received a maiden call-up to the NZ women's squad, as they prepare for their South American visit next month.

Fraser, 21, and Nathan, 18, were both members of the junior team at last year's U20 Women's World Cup, while the former was also part of the historic NZ side that finished third at the 2018 U17 World Cup.

Both have made A-League debuts this season, with Fraser scoring a blistering goal from a free-kick for Wellington Phoenix against Western United this month and the latter joining Canberra United.

Kitching was recently released by London City Lionesses after the 2022/23 season and has since found a home at Sunderland, currently sitting second in the second-tier English Women's Championship.  

"It is exciting to bring in three new players, as well as welcome back a number of Ferns, all of whom have earned their place in the squad based on their strong performances for their clubs," said coach Jitka Klimkova. 

"The games against Colombia will be a good test for us. I want our players to be exposed to the challenge of playing a South American style of play, which will help us grow as a team.

"We showed the potential we have as a side during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and now we need to be delivering performances like that consistently."

Katie Kitching celebrates a goal for Sunderland.
Katie Kitching celebrates a goal for Sunderland. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Ferns produced a massive upset win over Norway in their World Cup opener, but fell to a disappointing loss against Philippines and could not progress out of their pool with a draw against Switzerland.

They now turn their attention to reaching next year's Paris Olympics through an Oceania qualifying tournament in Samoa next February.

Football Ferns: Mackenzie Barry, Hannah Blake, Katie Bowen, Daisy Cleverley, Ava Collins, Brianna Edwards, Victoria Esson, Michaela Foster, Macey Fraser, Ally Green, Jacqui Hand, Betsy Hassett, Grace Jale, Katie Kitching, Anna Leat, Meikayla Moore, Ruby Nathan, Grace Neville, Ali Riley, Indiah-Paige Riley, Paige Satchell, Malia Steinmetz, Rebekah Stott, Kate Taylor