- Oceania gets U-17 Women’s World Cup qualification underway
- Samoa hosting eight-team OFC U-16 Women’s Championship
- New Zealand aiming for fifth successive U-17 Women’s finals
FIFA.com looks ahead to the upcoming action in Samoa.
Group A: New Zealand, Samoa, New Caledonia, Tahiti
Group B: Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, America Samoa
1 Samoan capital Apia is the sole venue of the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship and will play host to all 15 of the tournament’s matches. This is the first time Samoa has hosted the competition after New Zealand (2010 & 2012) and Cook Islands (2016).
2 Two countries will make their OFC U-16 Women’s Championship debuts this year: American Samoa and Tahiti. Both will be eager to test themselves on the continental stage. Were they to qualify, it would be American Samoa's first appearance at a FIFA tournament.
3 Three nations have included players from July’s OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in New Zealand in their U-16 squads: Samoa, New Caledonia and Tonga. Samoa and New Caledonia will benefit from the experience of Vineta Faleaana and Marie-Laure Palene respectively, while Tonga boast several players who were in New Zealand, including Nipa Talasinga and Seini Lutu, who played key roles even at the higher age bracket.
4 New Zealand are the only team to have represented Oceania at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, having made four appearances at the tournament. The Young Football Ferns have won the U-16 OFC Women’s Championship on all three occasions and hosted the inaugural U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2008. After their U-19 Women’s Championship triumph, the U-16 side will no doubt want to continue their winning ways.
7 Led by Argentinian head coach Guillermo Schiltenwolf, hosts Samoa have seven members of their squad playing for clubs outside of Oceania – the most of any team at the competition – all of whom play in USA, with three of them featuring for teams from Hawaii (namely Bulls, Hawaii Rush and Hawaii Surf).
What they said
"The ultimate goal is to create future Football Ferns and I am confident that we have the quality in this squad that in time they have the ability to go on and represent the Ferns. This tournament is another step in their development and a chance to show their ability."
New Zealand coach Leon Birnie
"I am so excited and looking forward to the tournament in Samoa, and there are six girls in the U-19 who will join me in Samoa which I am also looking forward to."
Tonga midfielder Carmel Uhila