9 Dec 2018

Football Ferns ready for World Cup challenges

1:02 pm on 9 December 2018

Football Ferns coach Tom Sermanni says New Zealand's draw for next year's Women's World Cup is tough, but he is confident his team will rise to the challenge.

The Football Ferns in action against Canada in the 2015 World Cup

The Football Ferns in action against Canada in the 2015 World Cup Photo: Photosport

The draw for the biggest women's sporting event in the world was made at a glitzy affair in Paris. The Football Ferns will meet European champions the Netherlands, world No.7 Canada and Cameroon in the month-long tournament in France beginning on June 7.

"As expected, it is a tough draw. It is a World Cup and when you are in the third pot you are going to get some tough opposition," said Sermanni, who took on the coach's role with the Football Ferns in October.

"But it's not an insurmountable draw. They are three teams that we can be very competitive against and on the right day we can get a result against them. It is probably as good a draw as we could have expected."

New Zealand play the Netherlands on June 12, Canada on June 16 and Cameroon on June 21.

The draw mirrors two of the opponents New Zealand faced in Canada four years ago, where they went down 1-0 to the Netherlands and drew 0-0 with Canada in the 2015 women's World Cup.

"Our girls will take confidence from that tournament," Sermanni said.

"They will feel that they can go out against these teams and get a result. The key thing for me is getting the team prepared the best that we can, get our tactics and selections right and we do everything possible so as soon as we enter the field on the first day of competition of the World Cup we are ready to go."

The Football Ferns featured in the first women's World Cup in 1991, but had to wait until 2007 for their return. At the 2011 event in Germany, they drew with Mexico but fell to narrow one-goal defeats against England and eventual winners Japan.

The USA are the defending champions, and the most successful team in the history of the tournament with three titles. They have been drawn in Group F with Thailand, Chile, and Sweden. Group D shapes as one of the toughest groups with England, Scotland, Argentina and Japan.