Michaela Foster, daughter of All Blacks coach Ian Foster, has been called up to the Football Ferns squad for the first time for their international friendlies against Portugal and Argentina.
The uncapped Wellington Phoenix defender has been drafted into the team alongside teammate Brianna Edwards after Grace Wisnewski withdrew due to personal reasons.
Foster, 24, has impressed for the Phoenix in the A-League, playing every minute of their 11 games in her debut season as a professional.
The duo join club teammates Betsy Hassett, Paige Satchell, Mackenzie Barry, and Kate Taylor in the Football Ferns squad.
New Zealand will play Portugal at Hamilton on February 17 and Argentina on February 20, before traveling north to play the South Americans at North Harbour on February 23.
The friendlies will serve as preparation for the World Cup beginning in July, with NZ and Australia co-hosting, and will run alongside the qualifying playoff tournament.
Football Ferns coach Jitka Klimková is excited by another opportunity to test her younger players against experienced opposition.
“Last month against the USA we were able to play in the world cup stadiums and test some members of our wider squad,” she said.
“For these matches we are eager to take the next step in building on our preparations leading into the tournament, continuing to focus on our performance goals on the pitch to compete for positive results.
“It will be extra special for some of our players who were not able to join us in January. They are all excited to be part of the team, wear the Fern, and represent Aotearoa in front of our home fans.”
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