Tom Sermanni was hired as the new head coach for New Zealand, in 2018 after former head coach Andreas Heraf, was fired due to some controversial issues. Sermanni looks to help New Zealand qualify from the group stages at the World Cup for the first time in their history but to do so, they will need results against Cameroon, Canada and the Netherlands.
A change in leadership allows New Zealand to become stronger
Sermanni's arrival was more than just a change at the head coaching position, it also heralded the return of players such as Abby Erceg who had previously retired from international duty due to their treatment under Heraf. The return of those players has allowed New Zealand to have a caliber of players, particularly at the back, who can shut down most teams' offenses on their day.
The results under Sermanni have been inconsistent but if their performance recently against England is anything to go by, Sermanni has a sound defense at his disposal. Led by captain Ali Riley, the 'Football Ferns' can also rely on Erceg, Rebekah Stott and Ria Percival to form a strong defensive line and protect goalkeeper Erin Nayler. If New Zealand can put in more performances like that and less like the ones they showed against Australia or the United States of America, they can achieve their goal of reaching the Round of 16.
Goals are an issue for the Football Ferns
New Zealand have struggled for goals recently and have had to rely on Sarah Gregorius as their main goal-scorer. With Hannah Wilkinson just coming back from a long-term injury, if Gregorius is off her game, New Zealand do not have many players who can put the ball in the back of the net when the chance arises. Against the likes of the Netherlands and Canada, New Zealand may not see much of the ball so they have to make their opportunities count when they happen.
Rosie White is also someone that Sermanni will look to for goals should Gregorius not be on song. White may not have a club right now but during her time in the FA WSL, she showed just how good a player she can be in the right system. So far, Tom Sermanni has had her playing just off the striker and it seems to suit her well. They will need her to step up immensely in a few days time if New Zealand want to reach the knock out stages at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Goalkeepers: Victoria Esson, Erin Nayler, Nadia Olla.
Defenders: Ria Percival, Anna Green, CJ Bott, Meikayla Moore, Rebekah Stott, Ali Riley, Abby Erceg, Sarah Morton, Stephanie Skilton, Olivia Chance.
Midfielders: Annalie Longo, Betsy Hassett, Katie Bowen, Katie Duncan, Daisy Cleverley.
Forwards: Emma Kete, Sarah Gregorius, Rosie White, Hannah Wilkinson, Paige Satchell.