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Erceg back for NZ Women vs Thailand

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/12/2016 Angelo Risso

Football Ferns skipper Abby Erceg. © Erich Schlegel / USA TODAY Sports Football Ferns skipper Abby Erceg. Football Ferns skipper Abby Erceg has warned her young teammates against complacency in New Zealand A's two friendlies against Thailand.

Erceg, 27, will lead the side just two months after captaining American club outfit Western New York Flash to the NWSL title.

The 130-cap veteran is joined by fellow overseas-based Kiwis Anna Green and Rosie White, as well as a host of under-17 and under-20 representatives.

A development squad will face the Thais on Thursday, before New Zealand A step in for friendlies on Saturday and next Tuesday.

"If we give them enough time to show us what they have got, I think they'll hurt us," Erceg said.

"We have to learn how to win games against teams like Thailand because it will help us at World Cups and Olympics."

The three matches against Thailand serve as an excellent opportunity for head coach Tony Readings to survey younger players in the frame for the 2019 World Cup.

Readings said the presence of players such as Erceg, Green and White made a noticeable difference in training standards.

"For the Football Ferns to be successful, we need a greater depth of quality players to choose from, and they need to show them leadership," Readings said.

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