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Football Ferns ready for Dutch revenge

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/04/2016

The Football Ferns © Getty The Football Ferns Football Ferns coach Tony Readings says his team are ready to put into practice the lessons they learned against the Netherlands at last year's women's World Cup.

The two teams meet again early on Friday near Amsterdam, with world No.16 New Zealand keen to reverse their 1-0 loss against the 12th-ranked Dutch in their opening World Cup pool match last July.

Readings is also looking for a strong performance as a key step in the team's build-up to the Rio Olympics.

The Netherlands narrowly missed out on an Olympic berth, but are looking longer term as they begin their build-up for the European Championship in 2017 and have impressed with recent wins over France and Japan.

Readings says last time they played the Dutch it could have gone either way.

"The teams are closely matched and play similar styles when they have the ball, and they have some good individual players who can win games if we don't shut them down," he said.

"We learned at the World Cup that when we have possession and dominance at times we need convert those goal-scoring chances into goals."

Readings has selected his strongest squad, built around an experienced core of professionals based in Europe, USA and Japan.

With places in the starting XI yet to be decided, he said the Football Ferns knew there was plenty to play for.

"We are in a position now where we have some good healthy competition in the squad, and that will push everyone."

The team has one further international window in June and four more games on the way to Rio.

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