Phoenix backing the Football Ferns

The Wellington Phoenix will be cheering on the Football Ferns during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and are calling on all New Zealanders to join them.

The Ferns are endeavouring to make history and progress from their group for the first time in six attempts.

New Zealand, ranked 26th in the world, will open the tournament against 1995 champions Norway at Eden Park tomorrow night (Thursday, July 20), and then will play World Cup newcomers the Philippines in Wellington on Tuesday before rounding out group A against Switzerland in Dunedin on Sunday, July 30.

Four 2022-23 Phoenix players; Betsy Hassett, Paige Satchell, Michaela Foster and Milly Clegg are in the Ferns’ World Cup squad, while foundation players Kate Taylor and Grace Wisnewski are training partners and former head coach Natalie Lawrence is part of Jitka Klimková’s staff for the tournament.

Phoenix general manager David Dome is encouraging the public to get behind the team.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – NOVEMBER 20: Fans show their support during the round one A-League Women’s match between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City at Sky Stadium, on November 20, 2022, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“First and foremost we are all football fans at the Phoenix and it won’t get any bigger for our sport than having the FIFA Women’s World Cup on our doorstep,” Dome said.

“It’s the biggest sporting event Aotearoa will ever host and the Ferns need our support.

“We all know how much a crowd can lift a team and with all of us cheering them on who knows what the Football Ferns can achieve.”

The Nix are also urging New Zealanders to attend other matches in Aotearoa, not involving the Ferns.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – MAY 07: Newly appointed Head Coach Paul Temple poses during a Wellington Phoenix women’s head coach announcement at Ricoh Sports Centre on May 07, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the world’s best female footballers in person,” Phoenix women’s head coach Paul Temple said.

“Sweden, the world’s third ranked team, are training alongside us at the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) and they’re playing all of their group matches in New Zealand, along with two-time defending champions the U.S.A. and fellow top 10 ranked nations Spain and the Netherlands.

“I’ll be going to all nine games in Wellington and I hope to see you at the stadium!”